UNWTO flexes its muscles

Francesco Frangialli has laid out plans for strengthening the position of the World
Tourism Organization to
respond to the growth of the sector, the challenging external conditions and the
role of the organization within the United Nations family.The Secretary-General announced that he would broaden the policy direction currently
exercised by himself, with the support of Deputy Secretary-General Taleb Rifai, to
include two new Assistant Secretaries General. One focusing on external relations
will be filled immediately and the other on policy cohesion will be filled at the
end of the year.

In this context Frangialli unveiled his vision of an evolving UN Agency charged with
central and decisive leadership of a massive dynamic sector, while remaining lean,
focused and cost effective. “My goal is to ensure that the organization can meet
major challenges specific to the tourism industry and its stakeholders, while
supporting the UN system in its global mission - particularly the Millennium
Development Goals”.

He added “The new management group will ensure that UNWTO continues to fulfill the
tasks mandated by its governing bodies, responds rapidly to the needs of a growing
constituency and positions itself to address strategic issues like poverty
alleviation, climate change, competitiveness and information, communications

The first of the new positions would be filled by Geoffrey Lipman currently Special
Advisor to the Secretary-General, who will immediately assume responsibilities for
information communication and related technologies, public-private sector issues and
emergency response activity. Lipman will also act as the organization’s official
spokesperson. Lipman has previously served as Executive Director at IATA and
President of WTTC before joining UNWTO in 2001.

Frangialli announced a number of consequent changes in areas dealing with
Communications, Emergency Response, Market Intelligence, Publications, as well
appointing long time UNWTO official Augusto Huescar as Regional Representative for
the Americas and John Kester to replace him as Chief of Market Intelligence and
Promotion Department.