Lithuania elected to the Executive Council of the UNWTO

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2017 09 11

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During the twenty-second session of the General Assembly, held in China, Lithuania was for the first time elected to the Executive Council of the WTO and re-elected as a Vice-Chair of the Regional Commission for Europe. 

‘The election to the Executive Council of the WTO is a result of consistent work and also a great responsibility for Lithuania, which is strengthening its positions internationally. From now on we are among the global tourism policy makers and are therefore facing unused possibilities of presenting Lithuania’s tourism potential through the representation for the United Nations Organsation,’ said Minister of Economy Mindaugas Sinkevičius.

According to Mindaugas Sinkevičius, this is a great present for Lithuania on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Restored State of Lithuania.

In the General Assembly of the UNWTO, 27 countries from the European region voted in favour of Lithuania and Lithuania became a member of the Executive Council of the UNWTO for 2018–2010. Ten candidate countries competed for five seats on the Executive Council. Lithuania succeeded to overpass long-lasting and strong positioned in the tourism sector WTO members: Bulgaria, Turkey, Switzerland, Moldova and Serbia.

Along with Lithuania, it was Greece, Azerbaijan, Romania and Russia as well as holding mandate until 2019 France, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain (a permanent member), who were also elected to represent the European region in the Executive Council. 

The Executive Council is the second most important UNWTO governing body which takes all measures necessary to implement the decisions and recommendations adopted by the General Assembly, submits proposals, analyses the UNWTO programmes drafted by the Secretary General , approved  activity reports, etc.

Since 2003, when it became a member of the UNWTO, Lithuania is actively supporting the global tourism policy. As a Vice-Chair of the Regional Commission for Europe and a representative of the European region in the UNWTO Committee on Tourism and Sustainability (since 2015), our country holds a strong position in the UNWTO and contribute to the implementation of the sustainable development goals.

The General Assembly, which also selects the new leader of the WTO, is taking place in the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. By means of representation in the UNWTO Committee on Tourism and Sustainability  and the implementation of the principles of the Action Programme of the 17th Government of the Republic of Lithuania, Lithuania is stressing the importance of sustainable development of tourism.