Minister Walter Mzembi’s bid to secure the post of Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) received yet a further boost when he recently received the full backing of the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Hon Sameh Shoukry.

Minister Shoukry assured Minister Mzembi of his support, emphasizing that, as a committed member of the African Union, Egypt was bound by the unanimous decision taken by African Heads of State and Government at the recent AU Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, to endorse him (Minister Mzembi) as Africa’s candidate for the top UNWTO post.

“Egypt is committed and bound by the AU resolutions particularly on the candidature of Dr Mzembi. We want to assure him of our support”, Said the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Minister Mzembi also met with Dr Moushira Khattab, Egypt’s former Minister of Family and Population and now the country’s candidate for the post of Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Dr Khattab’s candidature for the top UNESCO post was also unanimously endorsed by the African Union at the recent Kigali Summit.

The two African candidates held detailed discussions on the evident synergy and potential for close coordination between UNWTO and UNESCO in terms of bringing people together, promoting deeper understanding and awareness between and amongst different cultures and how, working more closely together, the two organisations could contribute more positively towards bridging divisions between peoples and nations.

The two candidates agreed to maintain close and regular contact with regard to the conduct of their respective campaigns and to work assiduously in support of each other as aspiring African candidates to positions of leadership within the broad United Nations family.

Egypt sits in both the African Union (AU) and the Arab League, hence its influence on countries in both sides of the divide. Currently she is the chair of the UNWTO Executive Council which is expected to seat as a nomination court to receive candidatures from member states interested in fielding their nationals as candidate for the post of UNWTO Secretary General at its 104th meeting slated for 28 October to 02 November 2016, in Luxor here in Egypt.

Minister Mzembi is due to leave Cairo on Saturday for Tunisia which, like Egypt, is a member of the Executive Council of the UNWTO.  It is the 32-member Executive Council which, at its meeting in Madrid, Spain, in May, 2017, will elect the next Secretary General of the Organisation.

The current UNWTO Secretary General, Dr Taleb Riffai, a Jordanian National, is due to stand down from the post at the end of 2017.

If elected, Minister Mzembi will take up his post of Secretary General of the UNWTO at the Organisation’s headquarters in Madrid, Spain, in January, 2018.

Story from Sugar Chagonda

Cairo, Egypt

 19 August 2016