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September 24, 2017

UNWTO Campaign: Silence is not a sign of weakness


The Honorable Dr. Walter Mzembi spoke out.  In a conversation at the just concluded global summit for the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in Bangkok, he provided WorldTourismWire with a well-thought through statement.

WorldTourismWire invites candidates to a debate on our platform based on vision, fairness, and respect. WorldTourismWire is looking forward sharing vision statements with our audience of top-level travel and tourism professionals in the public and private sector. Candidates click here and submit your statement.

Silence is not a weakness summarizes what Dr. Mzembi response is to feedback received by other candidates. “For me, it’s about vision and nothing else but a vision.”

Hon Dr. Waler Mzembi: The reason why you will never hear from me on responses to the besmirching of my name, country , President and Continent by other Candidates which is happening quite often in public and private in Candidates’ sales pitch about their suitability over mine, is because of the cause which is greater than the distractions.

I bear the burden of a Continent and other developing, emerging and developed economies elsewhere that seek relevance and robust growth with equity from this sector. The bottom three billion whom we must move out of poverty leveraging on this peace sector to become the future traveling middle class is my call.

Their brief for me is to connect travel to the trade and investment value chain with its attendant opportunities in their countries, and because of this understanding, I am not burning bridges by pushing my candidature ‘at all cost’ as if there is no other action taking place between our countries in other spheres.

I am not behaving as if there is no tomorrow because l treat everyone with dignity and respect. There is a tomorrow beckoning, with lucrative opportunities whose master key is travel. How then do we become effective keys if we insult countries, their governing structures, and citizenry if at all we wish to preside over this sector?

Where is the decorum and humility, consistent with this sector which demands from us, respect of each other at a personal level and let alone compliance with resolutions and decisions of multilateral institutions from our own regions?

How will we and can we be taken seriously to preside over a UN Agencies governed through resolutions and decisions if we disrespect and show disdain to other people, our own home and regional processes especially those we participated in and still want the world to believe a lie?

This is not for me to answer but clearly the voters, the Executive Council Members, the very people whose conscience and per degree is greater than cheap political scorings. Why do country legacy issues only matter now when in the intervening period between Elections we are comfortable not only to receive up to date subscriptions from those we besmirch but are hosted by them at the highest levels, turn out in our large numbers and proclaim destinations safe and secure.

The 20th Session UNWTO General Assembly in Victoria Falls in 2013 described as ” best ever” being the case in point. This was prepared with the collaboration of South Korea providing the benchmark and why thereafter throw stones!

Which country in the world is free of legacy issues and can we, with a clean conscience, throw stones at the others?

It goes without saying that those who live in glass house should not throw stones. Why in a civilized world are we not able to judge people on their own merits, integrity, craft competencies and positive attitude that are key in the deployment for higher offices? It is not enough in my view to deploying one on the basis of one’s own country brand for which it is not the one that delivers for the membership yearning for better and more.

About the same time, candidates move around the world attacking other countries instead of selling their own vision for global tourism.  Their home Governments will be pressing for bigger picture deals for their countries from the same.

If this Campaign was structured to allow Debate ” American Style”, then all this polemic and backbiting would be avoided by way of greater transparency and an equal opportunity to respond- again on the basis of the superiority of ideas and vision.

Are candidates apprised of these issues or press for employment against all odds by the UNWTO oblivious of diplomacy, in itself, a serious attribute for the next Secretary General given the array of problems characterizing the environment through which global tourism will glide through?

So, yes my cause is greater and I am not about to be prompted into media ping pongs designed to create sympathy on” isms”, race color, creed, sexual orientation, and preferences etc.

Being in this election in itself is an idea whose time has come, and it is ideas for the growth of global tourism for all in a sustainable manner which we must weigh from each candidate not how much we are able to manipulate the fourth estate to cast aspersions on each other in the most despicable manner.

I, for the record, have never attacked any candidate or their country of origin in public or private, and the nearly 33 countries of the Executive Council I have visited will bear witness to my thrust.

For me, it’s about vision and nothing else but a vision. It is Vision which should separate us not the sophistication of manipulative tendencies one shows to those countries and to the Media who already know anyhow and are able to discern cheap propaganda and Vision for the sector that they all expect to present to them and give them the confidence of what each one of us can offer.

Members are mature enough to know what they want without undue propaganda influence against one another, which l think has no place in this sector.

I will continue playing my game above the current fray, based on my vision and may the best Candidate win!

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