24 August 2013

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Consider Best Contribution to Sustainable Development, Secretary-General

Urges Members in Message for Key World Tourism Organization Event

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (WTO) General Assembly at Victoria Falls (Zambia/Zimbabwe) on 24 August:

I am pleased to greet the WTO General Assembly on the tenth anniversary of becoming a United Nations specialized agency.

It is significant that your celebration is being held against the majestic backdrop of Victoria Falls.  This UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site is one of Africa’s premier tourist destinations.  The future for tourism on the continent is promising, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.

As the volume of international tourism grows, so does its considerable development potential.  Tourism is an undisputed generator of national wealth, corporate income and local employment.  Managed sustainably it can benefit people and planet alike.

As we work to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and define a post-2015 development agenda, I call on all WTO members and the global tourism community to examine how best to contribute to sustainable development.

I wish you a productive meeting.

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For information media • not an official record