US President Trump may have had Russia’s President Vladimir Putin helping in the US election. The UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili is working with his prime minister and manipulation to secure his upcoming election. Of course, all four people mentioned here will strongly deny this. All four may also be successful in their actions.
The previous prime minister from Georgia Girogi Kvirikashvili did his part to secure Zurab’s initial election in 2017 and announced him as a winner before the vote already
. The same PM used his position to take the opening ceremony for FITUR hostage and lobby for his candidate Zurab Pololikashvili.
The 112th session of the Executive Council of the UNWTO was opened by Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia and UN World Tourism Organisation Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili on September 16. Georgia has become the first country to host the session of the World Tourism Organisation’s (WTO) Executive Council outside the borders of Spain.
Delivering a speech during the 112th session of WTO in Tbilisi earlier today, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia stated that Georgia and UNWTO ‘have been linked with long, successful cooperation which is becoming more and more fruitful.’
The event included some high-ranking delegates from Spain, Greece, Portugal, Romania, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Kenya.
Is UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres concerned about the operation of his Madrid based UN agency known as UNWTO or World Tourism Organization
? According to unconfirmed information received by eTN sources, the Secretary-General of the UN has been informed about the modus operandi by UNWTO under the leadership of Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili and may be considering to step in.
Making it difficult for a new candidate to compete in the upcoming Secretary-General election at UNWTO is highly suspicious and some may see it as calculated and deliberated by the current UNWTO leadership.
As reported by eTurboNews on September 11
, the next UNWTO
election manipulation had just begun.
For ten days now this manipulation is in full swing and ironically has the full blessing by UNWTO executive council member countries.Pololikashvili managed to avoid any opposition to his last-minute move to change the election day from May to January and set the day for countries to nominate a delegate for the UNWTO Secretary-General post to November 2020. This deadline is longer than 430 days before the term even starts.
With such a move Pololikashvili managed to make it almost impossible for attending delegates at the Executive Council meeting last week in Georgia to oppose. Pololikashvili also changed the rules to submit any proposed changes 72 hours before they could be discussed or voted on. Since most delegates were on planes and caught by surprise within this 72 hour period, there was not even a debate about this issue in Georgia.
Pololikashvili managed to make it extremely inconvenient to have ministers from many countries to follow the council meeting remotely. Long lunch brakes in between and in some countries in the middle of the night made it impossible for tourism ministers in many countries to be part of the meeting. They had to rely on embassy staff not familiar with tourism to make important decisions for the travel industry.
Everyone who was able to get to Georgia however had a great time. Extended gala dinners, sightseeing tours. The host did everything to entertain and make real discussions as short and irrelevant as possible.
The difference in this upcoming election process becomes already very obvious and remarkable when comparing it with the election at the end of the first term of the previous Secretary-General, Dr. Taleb Rifai,
At that time the elections were introduced in a clear and transparent way, giving ample time for other candidates to register and to campaign for the job. Dr. Rifai was highly appreciated by tourism leaders, by the international community, and by UNWTO staff for his vision, commitment, and valuable support to the sustainable development of tourism.
He had unanimous support from the whole tourism sector to continue another four years, and no one even thought of submitting a candidature to compete. These days, concerns are raised all over the tourism sector about the way Pololikashvili has managed UNWTO; Many feel there is a strong need for a change of Secretary-General to make UNWTO a meaningful organization again in these challenging times.
Aware of these concerns, Pololikashivili is committed to preventing any competition. The Executive Council session last week was dedicated to facilitating the process for Pololikashvili´s re-election and has been described by insiders as a scam.
Altogether, only a few member States accepted the invitation and were willing to take the risks to travel to Georgia in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Delegations were mostly comprised of relatively low-level officials. Many were filled by Embassy staff who are hardly dealing with tourism and UNWTO issues.
Council Members could have attended online, but the timeframe for the meetings did not facilitate the active participation of members based in many time zones.
Other UN agencies who organize statutory meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic with online participation by Members from all around the World, tend to start the meetings at the beginning of the afternoon, UTC time. This is to facilitate participation by members from most time zones. UNWTO preferred to plan a long lunch break at the beginning of the afternoon, giving priority to extending excellent hospitality to those delegates who traveled to Georgia above facilitating online participation.
An insider attending the event in Georgia told eTurboNews: ” Was this all part of the plan? Members who traveled to Georgia could be considered close friends by Pololikashvili, and needed to be provided with all possible privileges and hospitality to secure their full support during the election process. Those members that didn’t come to Pololikashvili home country may sometimes take a more critical stance. It was definitely not in the interest of Pololikashvili to help facilitate their online participation.”
It is highly unethical to hold the Executive Council meeting prior to the UNWTO elections in Georgia, the home country of Pololikashvili. It is already very unusual that a meeting of the UNWTO Executive Council takes place in a country that is not a member of the Executive Council. Georgia is not a member of the Executive Council.
Such cases of manipulation within the United Nations system may not go unnoticed.