UNWTO Candidate Dho receives powerful endorsement on Earth Day


Today is earth day. The Earth Day event was celebrated in 192 countries around the globe. Professor Jeffrey David Sachs is an American economist and director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, where he holds the title of University Professor, the highest rank Columbia bestows on its faculty. He is known as one of the world’s leading experts on economic development and the fight against poverty.

He is a special adviser to the former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on the Millennium Development Goals, having held the same position under former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He is co-founder and chief strategist of Millennium Promise Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending extreme poverty and hunger.

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Ambassador Dho Young-shim is the Chairperson of the UN World Tourism Organization’s Sustainable Tourism for Eliminating Poverty (ST-EP) Foundation (Republic of Korea)

Ambassador Dho promotes tourism, sports, and education to fight poverty in the world’s least developed countries. She is spearheading the Thank You Small Library project of the UNWTO ST-EP Foundation which has established over 80 libraries in developing countries since October 2007.

Ms. Dho is a candidate to become the next Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

Today Professor Jeffrey David Sachs issued an open letter of endorsement to support the campaign for Ambassador at UNWTO.

The open letter reads: 

To All Concerned:

I am absolutely delighted to learn that Ambassador Dho Young-Shim is a candidate to lead the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Under the very able leadership of Secretary-General Dr.

Taleb Rifai, the UNWTO has positioned itself and the tourism industry as a strong and creative supporter of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals. From my detailed and longstanding engagement with Ambassador Dho I have no doubt that she would continue to lead the UNWTO will great energy, dedication, decency, and commitment to the global agenda of sustainable development and peace.

In my capacity as a senior UN advisor and as a development scholar and practitioner at Columbia University, I have closely worked with Ambassador Dho for more than a decade, for both the Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals. Ambassador Dho is a remarkable person: full of energy, drive, and tremendous organizational and leadership capacity.

She gets things done. She insists that others get things done. And she always acts for the greater good. She has served as a member of many high-level groups in support of the UN agenda and the UN leadership, currently including her active role as a member of the SDG Advocates appointed by the UN Secretary-General, in which I too am a member.

Ambassador Dho knows the challenges facing Africa and the developing world more generally.

She also knows well and on a first-hand basis the successes that Korea has achieved during the past half century in economic development and quality education, and has worked fervently and diligently to extend the lessons of Korea’s successes to the rest of the world. And she knows the myriad ways that tourism can serve not only the wellbeing and safety of tourists and workers in the tourist sector, but of humanity more generally, in extending good will, creating quality jobs, and breaking down barriers between peoples.

I am fully confident that Ambassador Dho would be an outstanding Secretary General of UNWTO.

With all best wishes,
Jeffrey D. Sachs
University Professor
Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.