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UNESCO strengthens cooperation with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
an article by UNESCO Media Services

A new memorandum of Understanding was signed by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai, in the margins of the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination in New York.

UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. (c) UNESCO

click on photo to enlarge

UNWTO is the specialized agency of the United Nations in charge of promoting a responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.

The Agreement provides a framework for cooperation in a range of areas, including:
- Implementation of the UNESCO World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism Programme;
- transnational tourism initiatives to promote and safeguard the shared heritage of the Silk Roads Heritage Corridors;
- Identifying, developing and networking of sustainable tourism initiatives and activities in biosphere reserves;
- Promoting sustainable tourism through United Nations partnerships and initiatives, such as the United Nations Steering Committee on Tourism for Development (SCTD) and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism (GPST).

Ms Bokova thanked her UNWTO counterpart for his commitment to reinforcing cooperation between the two agencies so as to achieve a greater impact for the benefit of Member States and to strengthening system wide coherence. "I look forward to furthering this partnership on the basis of shared values and common objectives" said the Director- General.

The memorandum of Understanding is the third agreement between UNESCO and UNWTO, the first going back to 1979.

This renewed cooperation underlines the strength of a partnership that has existed for over three decades.


Question(s) related to this article:

How can tourism promote a culture of peace?,

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Why tourism?

Can tourism be seen as an instrument to achieve complicity between people’s minds?

“There is nothing better that connects two people’s mind than a good conversation” The above quote could be used to describe the effect which tourism has on people. Like a great conversation, tourism could be said to play a vital role amongst people all over the world. It fosters communication in all its senses, intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding.  

In today’s world it is evident that there is a shortage of moral or ethical values amongst people across the different nations in this world, resulting in a globalised world lacking these morals and ethical values. Ignorance, the failure to consider the needs of others, and selfishness are a few of the ways which hinder us from embracing diversity and a common human perspective, which  would result informal empathy, internal moral compassion, tolerance of differences, historical consciousness and interpretation. The above mentioned features are intrinsic, inherent and can be found in the practice of tourism.

Tourism has been emphasized as one of the most effective instruments which continue to tackle to tackle social and economical poverty, as well as encourage the culture of peace practice amongst people. In looking at the UN architecture, one is able to see the growing implications which the tourism sector has on the world and world policies. . ...more.

This report was posted on December 2, 2013.