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WTO: Tourism is prime tool for peace

WTO General Assembly -Tourism will be an effective and far reaching tool in seeking world peace, the President of the Republic of Korea, Kim Dae-Jung told the opening ceremony of the General Assembly on Monday 24 of September….

WTO General Assembly -Tourism will be an effective and far reaching tool in seeking world peace, the President of the Republic of Korea, Kim Dae-Jung told the opening ceremony of the General Assembly on Monday 24 of September.



Following the attacks on the United States, the president said that his country was well aware of the need to combat terrorism. "I once again realize how valuable and important is the avenue of reconciliation we have been striving for between South and North Koreas," he said. "How much bigger would have been our sense of unease in the Korean peninsula, which is a most sensitive region in security terms, if we did not choose this avenue of reconciliation and peace."



The president said the whole world was anxious about the possibility of war and the sense of economic uncertainty. But the fact that world tourism leaders were gathering on the Korean peninsula, "where reconciliation and cooperation is being extended", has a very symbolic significance.



Tourism is not merely an economic factor, but "of great value for the whole of humankind" following the sacrifices made in the two world and other wars of the last century, he added.



"Now, having learnt a bitter lesson from past history, the world has to actively head for the road of mutual understanding and peace. Tourism will be the most effective and far-reaching tool in accomplishing this goal."



President Kim also gave his support to sustainable tourism, saying: "We have a responsibility to use wisely and preserve precious tourism resources'. WTO<.> Secretary-General Francesco Frangialli said that violence has to be eradicated for tourism to prosper, but that there is also a need for greater tolerance.



Offering a message of friendship and support to the people and government of the United States, he said that "no cause can justify terrorism." But, he added: "No peoples in any part of the world should be blamed collectively. Anyone, regardless of race or religion, should be able to visit any country of his or her choosing and be well received by its inhabitants."



The Secretary-General went on to say that he was convinced tourist exchanges will aid efforts to foster the reunification of the Korean peninsula, "helping to achieve unexpected breakthroughs and transform apparently immutable situations" as had happened with other countries.



Who, he asked, would have predicted less than 15 years ago that countries like the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Russia itself would emerge from their isolation, participate fully in European trade and become both successful destinations and important generating markets.



"This is what tourism is capable of," he said, "what it can do, in spite of the difficulties we are experiencing at this time, to foster economic development and peace. In this Year of 'Dialogue among Civilizations' declared by the United Nations, and in this peninsula which was at war just 50 years ago, WTO must more than ever prove faithful to the fundamental aim it was assigned in its Statutes: 'the development of tourism with a view to contributing to economic development, international understanding and peace."

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.

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