A Desperate Plea From Inside UNWTO Headquarters

75 years of UN: Cooperation and trust as important as ever
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili
Avatar of Juergen T Steinmetz

The upcoming UNWTO General Assembly in Uzbekistan could go into the history of the most corrupt global tourism meeting. A plea for help was received.

Some of the people working within the United Nations World Tourism Organization are worried about the future of the integrity of this organization.

Internally they no longer have a voice, but turned on eTurboNews to publish this open letter after the recent warning in an article published by eTurboNews on ongoing manipulation by Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili to secure a third term and perhaps many more for himself.

Only the Executive Council and ultimately member states can stop this process now.

The Open Letter by UNWTO Staff

Dear Jurgen,

We find ourselves filled with optimism, a sense of hope, as we witness your courage and determination to lift the veil of hypocrisy that is apparently driving the actions of our member states. In the spirit of Hans Christian Andersen’s timeless fable, you have boldly declared that the Emperor is without garments, while others continue to chant “Long Live the King.”

For years, Pololikashvili has carved out his own dominion within the UNWTO, surrounding himself with loyalists and suppressing voices of dissent, diversity, and independence.

Concern for the Future of UNWTO

Our concerns for the future are deep and profound. Security measures may be heightened, and our very means of communication may be scrutinized as a result of the WhatsApp group you’ve mentioned. Let us tread cautiously, for an overly public exposure could cast us into a storm of adversity.

In the wake of this reputational turmoil, should the coup falter and should the present Secretary-General still possess a semblance of dignity, he ought to step aside. Regrettably, we know his disposition well, and the comfort, influence, and freedom he currently enjoys may prove elusive in any other capacity. Thus, he may opt to linger, seeking retribution against those who have incurred his disfavor, even at the expense of costly legal battles, with his legal counsel faithfully by his side—a pattern seen before, at the cost of the organization’s coffers.

Saudi Arabia has a role to play

We ardently hope that Saudi Arabia will not tarnish its own reputation by endorsing this individual, and we implore Spain to take a resolute stance against him. Yet, our understanding of the intentions of member states remains uncertain, as does the full extent of their dealings with Uzbekistan and the ramifications for Georgia, his homeland.

Through the years, Pololikashvili has demonstrated not only a proclivity for self-interest but also a shield of loyalty that envelops him. Those who surround him are willing to go to great lengths to protect and advance his agenda.

Long-serving staff in UNWTO wants change

Fortunately, a cadre of long-serving employees has maintained connections with the outside world and with representatives of member states who have remained steadfast in their commitment to the UNWTO’s noble mission. It is imperative that we preserve our institutional memory, invoking the days when the UNWTO resonated as the true global voice of tourism, rather than a personal empire governed by a privileged, unscrupulous figure.

UNWTO whistleblower wants journalist to pick up this story

In these challenging times, we place our trust in God, as well as in your ability to inspire fellow journalists to shine a light upon the situation at the UNWTO before it reaches a point of no return.

Thank you

About the author

Avatar of Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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