Tourism leaders aware of what just happened in Madrid yesterday have a hard time comprehending. The Republic of Georgia in cooperation with the United Nations World Tourism Organization is planning an open attack against the Kingdom of Bahrain at its 113th Executive Council meeting on Monday.
On official UNWTO letterhead, H.E. Mr. David Zalkaliani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Georgia will be the host for heads of delegates from 34 countries voting at Tuesday’s Secretary-General election. The current UNWTO Secretary-General is from Georgia and used his power over the UNWTO Secretariat to plan and facilitate this illegal move.
Bahrain has the only competing candidate in the upcoming election. She was caught by surprise yesterday and decided not to attend the UN dinner designed to promote her rival, the current Secretary-General of UNWTO.
Invited guests to the dinner are the heads of delegation for the UNWTO Executive Council member countries.
Before the dinner, His Majesty, the King of Spain will greet the same delegates at El Pardo Palace.
What countries will take or better “eat” the bribe?
Georgia is targeting delegates representing the following 34 countries to the bribery dinner:
- Bahrain (not attending)
- Cabo Verde
- Côte d’Ivoire
- Republic of Korea
- Russian Federation
- Saudi Arabia
Due to COVID-19 and the winter storm in Madrid, only 1 or 2 ministers are expected to attend personally. The rest of the countries will attended by Proxy or will be represented by their Madrid-based Embassy staff.
In January 2017, the UNWTO Sustainable Tourism year was celebrated.
All registered candidates competing for the Secretary-General election in 2017 were in Madrid campaigning and attending the FITUR opening event.
As a surprise guest of honor Georgias prime minister showed up and delivered his keynote address. His focus was less relevant to sustainable tourism, but all about promoting Georgias candidate Zurab Pololikashvili for secretary-general. Competing candidates in the FITUR audience were caught by surprise.
In June of 2017 a night before the election for the UNWTO Secretary-General, the Georgia Embassy in Madrid bought tickets for delegates to attend a sold-out football game, to have a good time watching the game with the Georgia candidate Zurab Pololikashvili. In a survey, eTurboNews readers voted this game was designed to bribe delegates.
ATQ News asked in an article: Did Real Madrid choose the next UNWTO Tourism SG?
In September Zurab invited the 112th session of the Executive Council meeting to his home country Georgia. How much of a scam was the 112th UNWTO Executive Council meeting in Georgia?
FITUR was the reason the council followed Zurab’s wish to cut several months out of the time window for candidates to sign up and compete in next week’s election for SG.
FITUR was also the reason the election for 2022 was moved to next week Tuesday instead of May 2021.
With only days left after the Georgia Executive Council Meeting, 7 Candidates applied to compete, and only one person was accepted. Zurab”s secretariat disqualified 6 candidates due to missing parts in the necessary paperwork.
In the meantime, FITUR was canceled. In November UNWTO Executive Council Ministers got a chance to do the right thing, but they didn’t.
The right thing would have been to provide a fair time frame for candidates to register. The right thing would have been to move back the original voting day to allow competing candidates to campaign.
Not only got COVID-19 lockdown rules tougher, but a terrible snowstorm made it even more difficult for the 35 ministers of tourism representing the Executive Council countries to travel to Madrid next week. Countries now rely on their embassies in Madrid or on Proxies to attend the election, or won’t attend at all. Many countries don’t have an embassy in Madrid.
The “Decency of the UNWTO Election Campaign” initiated by the World Tourism Network was signed by two former UNWTO Secretary Generals and hundreds of tourism leaders from more than 100 countries.
The fact that some of the voting Ministers of Tourism had tested positive for COVID-19 did not convince Zurab Pololikashvili to cancel next week’s meeting. Electronic votes were not allowed either.
Embassies are run by Foreign Ministers and not Tourism Ministers. If anyone will attend the executive council meeting next week it won’t be many tourism ministers. Delegates compromising of embassy staff may attend. Embassies are always run by Foreign Ministries.
Zurab’s final game of manipulation is now unfolding. Appearing as a surprise, but most likely carefully planned, Georgia’s Foreign minister is getting on a plane to host the official welcome dinner the night before the election – Georgia style.
Good food, good wine are designed to get delegates to vote for Georgia. It’s leaving the only competing candidate from Bahrain Her Excellency Shaikha Mai Al Khalifa on the sideline.
Violating the UN Code of Ethics
According to former UNWTO Secretary-General Dr. Taleb Rifai, what is happening in Madrid violates any known code of ethics. He told eTurboNews: “You cannot introduce an official item on the Executive Council agenda that is designed to benefit and promote one candidate only.”
Former candidate Dr. Walter Mzembi said: “Blatant violation of nonexistent ethics.”