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Unwto Elections 12 May 2017, Taking A Closer Look At The Korean Candidate & The St-Ep Program

May 6, 2017 Business News No Comments Email Email

As the elections for the new Secretary General of the UNWTO is now just around the corner, many from the world of tourism and from Governments have called to air their comments on the Korean Candidate.

Who is Madame Dho and her ST-EP program and can she be a candidate for Secretary-General of the UNWTO?

– 2000: ST-EP was totally conceived by Geoffrey Lipman, as special advisor to the UNWTO Secretary General Frangialli (with support from Dawid Devilliers) in 2000 to fit with the MDGs.
– Lipman designed the program, logo, and the UNWTO Executive Council and Assembly approval as well as member and public events at ITB and WTM, during a 2 year period.
– 2002: ST-EP was launched at the Johannesburg Earth Summit as a program to link sustainable Tourism to the Elimination of Poverty in a measured way, linked to UNWTO work on Satellite Accounts.
– The Goal at that time ws to raise $500 million from the billions of UN funds for poverty alleviation. It was intended to have a Geneva based transparent Foundation
– Madame Dho, now the Korea Candidate for Secretary General of the UNWTO was asked to help after seeing the impact at a WSSD side event and it was agreed that she would solicit 5 million from the Korean Government to kick start the program.
– Secretary-General Frangialli and Lipman made several trips to Korea and the funds were secured. It is reported they even met with then Foreign Minister Ban Ki moon …a personal friend of Madam Dho. It was then agreed that the Foundation would be established by Madame Dho and with her as Chairperson (and this was 10 years ago)
– 2005 Lipman formally opted out of program because it was said he objected to the way that program was being managed – not just by Madame Dho but also internally. Taleb Rifai as Deputy SG elect stepped in
– 2008 major scandal broke out because finances of Foundation were found to be used by Madame Dho for administration and no real projects were being undertaken. Matter was handled personally by the UNWTO Secretary General with UN and French Court of Accounts and eventually all was hushed up.
– 2009 Major partnership with SNV and GIZ announced but both cancelled because of policy / personality differences with Madame Dho.
– 2010 SG Frangialli hands over to Taleb Rifai and he becomes President of ST-EP and starts to travel with Madame Dho and a small Executive Board falls into line.
– ONLY PROGRAMS OF NOTE BY ST-EP ARE SMALL LIBRARIES AND CHOIRS crafted with Korea funds and corporate engagement – many bilateral missions by Madame Dho to some states (mostly African) with NO VISIBLE TOURISM LINK.
– All other programs used to support UNWTO technical assistance department.
– 2012: Idea floated of a separate but linked KOREAN International Organization with Madam Dho as Chair and former Secretary General of the UNWTO as President.
– Great reluctance in Korean Government but Madame Dho highly connected and through UNWTO had become MDG and SDG Ambassador at UN via Ban Ki Moon while also helping UNWTO and its Secretary General get closer to Ban Ki Moon.
Madame Dho candidacy with Carlos Vogler of UNWTO itself (and publicly supported by former UNWTO Secretary General Frangialli involved with the same ST-EP) is said by all in tourism to have been designed to make up for her weaknesses of relationships and language. Not clear that a ticket like this is intended in the rules – but it is probably too vague to fight formally.
– If elected now the Korean Secretary General would also have a created Korean ST-EP International Organisation by the then Secretary General of the UNWTO Frangialli now publicly supporting her as a candidate.
– Korea is currently cleaning a corruption mess with leaders removed from office and Korea is again seen to be in the centre if this highly contentious situation.

These points have been contributed with the help of some internal information players because it is a highly irregular situation for the United Nations to find itself in.

Madame Dho should do the right thing and step out of the race as she failed with ST-EP and the past audit reports of the accounts of ST-EP showed funds used not helping Member States but on administration.

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