UNWTO is the specialized agency of the United Nations in charge of promoting a responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
A new memorandum of Understanding was signed by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai, in the margins of the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination in New York. The Agreement provides a framework for cooperation in a range of areas, including:
- Implementation of the UNESCO World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism Programme;
- Developing transnational tourism initiatives to promote and safeguard the shared heritage of the Silk Roads Heritage Corridors;
- Identifying, developing and networking of sustainable tourism initiatives and activities in biosphere reserves;
- Promoting sustainable tourism through United Nations partnerships and initiatives, such as the United Nations Steering Committee on Tourism for Development (SCTD) and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism (GPST).
Ms Bokova thanked her UNWTO counterpart for his commitment to reinforcing cooperation between the two agencies so as to achieve a greater impact for the benefit of Member States and to strengthening system wide coherence. "I look forward to furthering this partnership on the basis of shared values and common objectives" said the Director-General.
The MoU is the third agreement between UNESCO and UNWTO, the first going back to 1979.
This renewed cooperation underlines the strength of a partnership that has existed for over three decades.