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Georgia’s ex Minister of Economy Pololikashvili Becomes UNWTO Secretary General

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, September 15
Zurab Pololikashvili Georgia’s Permanent Representative to United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has been appointed as the UNWTO’s Secretary General.

Pololikashvili was elected by UNWTO General Assembly in Chengdu, China on September 14. He will serve on this post for 2018-2021.

Pololikashvili acted as Minister of Economic Development in 2009-2010 and Ambassador of Georgia to Spain in 2006-2009.

The candidacy of Pololikashvili on the post of UNWTO Secretary-General for 2018-2021 was recommended by the Executive Council in Madrid on 12 May 2017.

Pololikashvili said it is a huge responsibility for him to be the UNWTO Secretary General. He thanked every person who participated in the process.

“This is a victory for Georgia. My appointment showed that Georgia plays an important role in development of world tourism. This is a historic day for our country,” the newly-elected UNWTO Secretary General stated.

Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement, saying this is the first time ever that a Georgian candidate has been elected to such a high-ranking post of the international organization.

Foreign Minister, Mikheil Janelidze stated that the appointment of a Georgian citizen on the UNWTO Secretary General’s post is an unprecedented fact for Georgia.

“This means the recognition of the progress, made by Georgia during recent years. This is a huge result for all our citizens and for our tourism sector. Much work has been carried out to achieve this result,” Janelidze stated and congratulated Pololikashvili with the success.

Giorgi Chogovadze, Head of the Georgian National Tourism Administration, also attended the UNWTO General Assembly 22nd session.

He underlined that the role of the government of Georgia and its work in the field of tourism became one of the determinants of Georgian Representative’s success.

“I wish him all the success in the world. I truly wish him all the best. He is a good man and I have known him for a long time. He is capable now of carrying the responsibility and moving forward,” current UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai stated about his successor Pololikashvili.

The 22nd session of UNWTO General Assembly in Chengdu, China is taking place from September 12 to September 15. The session has gathered around 1500 delegates from 150 countries across the world. The United Nations 70th General Assembly has designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

Pololikashvili will start his work as UNWTO Secretary General from January, 2018.