UNWTO gears up for growing global challenges

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Francesco Frangialli, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization today laid out plans for strengthening the organization to respond to the growth of the sector, the challenging external conditions and the role of the organization within the United Nations family.

The Secretary-General announced that he would broaden the policy direction currently exercised by himself, with the support of Deputy Secretary-General Taleb Rifai, to include new Assistant Secretaries General. One focusing on external relations will be filled immediately and the other on policy cohesion will be filled at the end of the year.

In this context Frangialli unveiled his vision of an evolving UN Agency charged with central and decisive leadership of a massive dynamic sector, while remaining lean, focused and cost effective.

“My goal is to ensure that the organization can meet major challenges specific to the tourism industry and its stakeholders, while supporting the UN system in its global mission – particularly the Millennium Development Goals”.

He added

“The new management group will ensure that UNWTO continues to fulfill the tasks mandated by its governing bodies, responds rapidly to the needs of a growing constituency and positions itself to address strategic issues like poverty alleviation, climate change, competitiveness and information, communications technology”.

The first of the new positions would be filled by Geoffrey Lipman currently Special Advisor to the Secretary-General, who will immediately assume responsibilities for information communication and related technologies, public-private sector issues and emergency response activity. Lipman will also act as the organization’s official spokesperson. Lipman has previously served as Executive Director at IATA and President of WTTC before joining UNWTO in 2001.

Frangialli announced a number of consequent changes in areas dealing with Communications, Emergency Response, Market Intelligence, Publications, as well appointing long time UNWTO official Augusto Huescar as Regional Representative for the Americas and John Kester to replace him as Chief of Market Intelligence and Promotion Department. 

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