Armenia’s Transport Minister to run for UNWTO Secretary General

Armenia’s Transport Minister Vahan Martirosyan will compete for the position of the UN World Travel Organization (UNWTO).

The UNWTO’s current Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai of Jordan, has served in the position since January 2010 and is stepping down at the end of this year. The organization’s 33-nation executive board will choose a nominee in May to be voted on by its General Assembly later this year to serve as Secretary-General for the 2018 to 2021 term.

Seven eligible applications have been submitted. Other candidates are Márcio Favilla, Brazil; Walter Mzembi, Zimbabwe; Zurab Pololikashvili, Georgia; Jaime Alberto Cabal Sanclemente, Colombia; Alain St. Ange, Seychelles; Dho Young-shim, South Korea.

As part of the United Nations, the UNWTO supports many of the United Nation’s programs and is one of the largest global tourism organizations that advises member states on how to develop and implement tourism policies. The organization’s mission is to, “drive economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offer leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide,” according to its website.

UNWTO’s membership includes 157 countries, six associate members and 500 affiliate members representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities.

Vahan Martirosyan was appointed as Armenia’s Minister of Transport and Communications in September 2016 and in October had a title change to Minister of Transport, Communication and Information Technologies. Martirosyan spent more than 30 years working in electrical engineering posts in Armenia, serving in various board positions of CJSC, one of the country’s largest electrical utility companies, for the past 16 years.

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