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WTO and UNCTAD to join efforts in poverty alleviation

The world’s poorest countries can expect a brighter future. Two influential international entities, World Tourism Organization (WTO<.>) and…

The world’s poorest countries can expect a brighter future. Two influential international entities, World Tourism Organization (WTO<.>) and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), have agreed to join efforts in a fight to reduce poverty generally and in Africa specifically. The agreement was signed by WTO Secretary-General Mr Francesco Frangialli and his UNCTAD counterpart Mr Rubens Ricupero last week at a meeting in Alexandria, Egypt.



Reducing poverty is a means to solve a wide variety of other problems – including health, social equality, even terrorism, both leaders agreed. Alleviating poverty has become one of the most important challenges of the 21st century, Mr Frangialli said. Words are not enough, we must take concrete steps.



WTO, responsible for tourism development and UNCTAD, concerned with advancing the development of the world’s poorest countries, committed themselves to collaborate in implementing a new framework to assist developing and least developed states in order to enhance their social development, participation in international trade in services and poverty alleviation through sustainable tourism. With this they will pursue WTO’s Global Code of Ethics and various UNCTAD mandates.



Mr Frangialli also emphasized tourism as a major, growing contributor to employment, wealth, investment and cultural understanding.



WTO and UNCTAD have agreed to take a new initiative Sustainable Tourism as a tool for Eliminating Poverty, under the acronym ST-EP, with the purpose of exploring a framework that could facilitate the involvement of the community of donors and secure multi-stakeholder support for the poverty reduction policies.



Further support for the ST-EP initiative will be raised at a WTO side event at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg later this year, when a publication on poverty alleviation through tourism will be presented.

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