The Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Dr Walter Mzembi, who is also the African Union- endorsed candidate for the post of Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), met with the Secretary General of the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries. Dr Patrick I Gomes, at the ACP’s Brussels Headquarters on 20 February, 2017.

Dr Mzembi had requested the meeting in order to brief the Secretary General on the status of his campaign for the top UNWTO post, to share with him his vision for the future development of global tourism under the umbrella of the UNWTO and to seek the active engagement of the Group in support of his campaign.

One of the main objectives of the ACP Group – which comprises 48 sub- Saharan African countries, 16 Caribbean countries and 15 Pacific countries – is the coordination of activities (of the 79 member countries) within the framework of the ACP-European Community (EC) Partnership Agreements.

Dr Gomes praised the clarity and depth of Dr Mzembi’s vision for the future of global tourism and his commitment to work to ensure more equitable growth of the industry across all geographical regions of the world ; he also welcomed Dr Mzembi’s intention to investigate the possibility and practicality of establishing a Global Fund for Tourism designed to assist and support the development of tourism and tourism-related projects and programmes, specifically in developing and emerging tourism economies.

Following his meeting with Dr Gomes, Dr Mzembi held an hour- long meeting with the Ambassadors of ACP member states – including Ambassadors of countries which are members of the UNWTO Executive Council.

Following a detailed presentation of his vision for the reform and renewal of the UNWTO, Dr Mzembi fielded questions from Ambassadors seeking further clarification and comment on aspects of that vision.

The election will take place during the 105th meeting of the UNWTO Executive Council, scheduled to be held in Madrid, Spain, from 11 to 12 May, 2017.

27 February 2017