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December 15, 2017

Will Zurab Pololikasvil from Georgia lead UNWTO? May be not…


Champagne for Georgia – not so fast. There may not be a new UNWTO Secretary-General as of 2018.  What if the full membership of the UNWTO General Assembly in Chengdu, China 11-16. September 2017 won’t confirm Zurab Pololikasvil from Georgia as their new leader? Why? There may be plenty of reasons. Stay tuned….

The last Executive Council at their meeting earlier this Month in Madrid voted for Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili from Georgia to be nominated as the new secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organization starting in 2018. This nomination needs to be confirmed by the upcoming General Assembly before he could be appointed to the highest post in world tourism.

Not allowed to be in the executive council room during the election debate the Georgia Candidate Zurab Pololikasvili surrounded by his embassy staff was observed in talking to someone on SKYPE, WHAT’s UP or FACEBOOK while in the hotel lobby. Obviously, he was connected to someone attending the election he was not allowed to be part of as a candidate.  Is this enough to be unqualified? UNWTO did not want to respond to eTN’s question.

He was observed giving feedback or instructions to the person he was connected to on his mobile phone. Mr. Pololikasvili was constantly on the phone and his conversation ended with everyone from his staff applauding and within no time campaign started flowing.

This is a list of all executive members that had a vote in the Secretary General Election:

Angola

Azerbaijan

Bahamas

Bulgaria

China

Costa Rica1

Croatia

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Ecuador

Egypt

France

Germany

Ghana

India

Iran (Islamic Republic of)

Italy

Japan

(2017)

(2017)

(2017)

(2017)

(2019)

(2017)

(2017)

(2019)

(2017)

(2017)

(2019)

(2017)

(2019)

(2017)

(2017)

(2019)

(2019)

Kenya

Mexico

Morocco

Mozambique

Peru

Portugal

Republic of Korea

Saudi Arabia

Serbia

Seychelles

Slovakia

South Africa

Spain

Thailand

Tunisia

Zambia

(2019)

(2019)

(2019)

(2019)

(2017)

(2019)

(2019)

(2019)

(2017)

(2017)

(2019)

(2017)

(Permanent Member)

(2019)

(2017)

(2019)

Following the recommendation of the 105th UNWTO Executive Council meeting in Madrid, Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili nomination needs  2/3 of all member countries attending the upcoming General Assembly to agree for Georgia to lead the UN Agency as of 2018.

In the past, confirming a nominee was not a big challenge, except for a near tied score for the third term of Francesco Francalli in 2005 at the UNWTO General Assembly in Senegal, after Spain raised objections.

It’s not only SKPE, but allegations of fraud, payoffs, and unethical if not illegal manipulation outside of the tourism world may cost Georgia the reconfirmation at the upcoming General Assembly in China.
More on this will be shared with readers over time.

What would happen? There is no clear rule in place. According to verbal statements related to eTN as coming from Taleb Rifai, the current secretary-general, the General Assembly may refer the election back to the new Executive Council.

Many of the current Executive Council country members will be replaced by the end of 2017. (see table)

There will be new countries voting in a 2018 executive council. This new Executive Council meeting could take place early in 2018 and may be followed by an extraordinary General Assembly.Taleb Rifai could stay on or appoint a deputy to lead affairs after his resignation.

UNWTO Rules of Procedure (click)

Is this a likely scenario? This author thinks so. Why?  Stay tuned….

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