First meeting of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics

First meeting of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics

A milestone for implementation of the Global Code of Ethics

Rome, Italy/Madrid, Spain, 3 March 2004: The World Committee on Tourism Ethics held its first meeting in Rome on 25-26 February 2004 upon the invitation of the Italian Government. The body elected its Chairman, Mr. Diego Cordovez at a meeting which was considered "a milestone for implementation of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism".

First meeting of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics (Rome, Italy, 25-26 February 2004)

The World Committee on Tourism Ethics was set up by the World Tourism Organization (WTO) as an independent and impartial body to assist in the implementation and monitoring of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, adopted by WTO in 1999.

"It is symbolic that the first meeting of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics - a group of men and women, who represent the world of tourism, but also international society in all its diversity and people of undoubted ethical qualities - took place in Rome, the eternal city," said Mr. Francesco Frangialli, the WTO Secretary-General. 

"The Code of Ethics comprises principles and procedures to be followed in tourism activities. It is addressed to all the stakeholders in tourism development, including governments, invited by the United Nations General Assembly to consider introducing its contents in relevant laws, regulations and professional practices," explained the Chairman of the Committee Mr. Cordovez.
The Committee examined three main issues: measures necessary for promoting the application of the Code, the modalities of a mechanism to allow the Committee to play a role in the settlement of differences of viewpoint in the interpretation and application of the Code and major problems of ethical nature affecting tourism development today.

As priority requiring awareness and action, the Committee indicated exploitation of human beings, in particular children; sustainable development of tourism; liberty of movements of visitors; ensuring effective right to tourism; fair trade in tourism services; education for tourism and observing ethical principles as a basis for understanding among people and a contribution to peace.

For the next meeting, to be held in October 2004 at the WTO Headquarters in Madrid, the Committee will prepare "implementation parameters" corresponding to the general Code principles under the above-mentioned priority areas. It will also undertake a campaign on behalf of the Code, in particular by encouraging stakeholders, the governments, the private sector and civil society, to go by their own implementation agenda.

Committee's chairman Diego Cordovez was a United Nations official for 25 years, initially serving in the economic sector before being assigned political functions. He entered the organization as chief-of-staff of UNCTAD's Secretary-General and was later designated as Director of the Secretariat of the Economic and Social Council and Assistant Secretary-General for Secretariat Services for Economic and Social Affairs. In 1981 he was designated Under-Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs. He was nominated for the 1988 Nobel Peace Prize by the Parliamentary Commission on Security and Cooperation of the Helsinki Accords. That year, the Prize was awarded to the United Nations.

For more information on the World Committee on Tourism Ethics, please click here