The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations (UN) Specialized agency responsible for the promotion of tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide. The Organization’s programme of work is guided by the principles of its Global Code of Ethics for Tourism (GCET, 1999), a key document for guiding the development of tourism and serves as a frame of reference for the different stakeholders in the tourism sector in promoting and developing tourism with a view “to contributing to economic development, international understanding, peace, prosperity and universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion”.
UNWTO advocates for tourism as a key driver of socio-economic growth and development and supports the development and implementation of sustainable tourism policies and practices which makes optimal use of environmental resources, respects the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities and provides socio-economic benefits for all.
The 2020 Session of the High-level political forum on sustainable development (HLPF), organized under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), will be addressing the theme of “Accelerated action and transformative pathways, realizing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development”. During these turbulent times of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the collective decisions and actions of the UN system and the global community towards the delivering on the 2030 Agenda and the decade of action have become ever more relevant and important.