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Code of Ethics Committee gets the green light

WTO General Assembly-Approval for setting up a World Committee on Tourism Ethics was given by the General Assembly on Thursday 27 September, but not before…

WTO General Assembly-Approval for setting up a World Committee on Tourism Ethics was given by the General Assembly on Thursday 27 September, but not before several countries expressed their fears about the payment of expenses and allowances for its members.

Deputy Secretary-General Dawid de Villiers also made a plea for all WTO<.> delegates to get their UN representatives to vote for the Code of Ethics when it is presented for approval to the world body on November 19.

After several delegates said they were worried about the costs involved for any members elected from their countries, Dr. de Villiers said the Secretariat would look where possible to provide assistance for those coming from Lesser Developed Countries (LDCs).

"I think we can say that we will be very sympathetic to paying the expenses of these members." One possible source was the funding now being introduced for the regional commissions, he added.

Dr. de Villiers reminded delegates that since the last General Assembly in Santiago, details about the protocol of implementation of the Code of Ethics had been circulated widely to tourism organizations and the industry in general.

The Code had already been translated into 17 languages – the latest being Romanian – and 57 countries had included parts of or all of it in their national legislation.

"We expect it to be translated in a few more countries in the not too distant future," he added.

This summer the code has been recognized by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which had recommended it for full approval by the UN General Assembly, but not before some hurdles.

"That is why I am making a very special appeal to all delegates to ensure that their (UN) representatives in New York should be informed of this item which will be on the agenda on November 19.

"If we can get positive support from the WTO member states in the forum we will achieve a great deal by having the Code adopted by the highest international body. But if we just sit back it may encounter some unexpected opposition."

The UN delegate of any country who wanted more information on the Code could also contact WTO's representative in New York, added Dr. de Villiers.

The Deputy Secretary-General said the objective was to create "a living document that will forever speak to the tourism trade".

Various comments had been made since the last General Assembly in Santiago about the wording of the Code, which would be taken up by the committee once it gets under way.

The Committee will also have the responsibility for setting up a conciliatory system to settle any disputes.

This system would be the last step in setting up the code, said Dr. de Villiers, and proposals for how it should work will be presented to the next General Assembly.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.