SUMMIT LINKS POVERTY, PEACE, CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT
SALVADOR, BRAZIL (December 3, 2004) – The United Nations
Secretary General and President Luiz Inacio "Lula" Da Silva of
Brazil stressed the importance of tourism to the global fight
against joblessness, to saving the environment, and to fostering
peace and sustainable development.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan asserted sustainable tourism could
play a significant role in "lifting people out of poverty".
Sustainable tourism was one of the few ways open to the poorest
countries to take part in the global economy. Tourism, he added,
generates valuable foreign exchange and directly benefits other
sectors of the economies of poorer countries.
In a message read to participants of the World Tourism Forum for
Peace and Sustainable Development, Annan said sustainable tourism
can aid agriculture, food production and rural poverty in the least
However, he warned of the dangers of non-sustainable tourism, citing
the scourges of sex tourism, abuse of indigenous peoples "and most
of all – child sex tourism". He urged adherence to a global code of
ethics and called for the formation of "truly responsible
partnerships" for sustainable tourism development.
President Lula told participants from more than sixty countries
attending the World Tourism Forum here in the colonial capital of
Brazil's impoverished north eastern Bahia state, "nothing fosters
peace more than the free flows of people".
Sustainable tourism, according to the Brazilian president, can lift
the self esteem of communities when they see the value to others of
their heritage, culture and way of life. The restoration of national
self esteem, he declared, contributes to the strength of the
economy. Some ten-percent of the 1.3 million jobs created in Brazil,
he added, were in the tourism sector.
Proclaiming his desire to boost the number of visitors to Brazil,
Lula predicted tourism will "soon be the major driver" of the
Brazilian economy, which is expected to top five percent growth this
Thanks to the World Tourism Forum, said Lelei LeLaulu, president of
Counterpart International, a Forum organizer, "linkages are now
clearly drawn between sustainable tourism development and poverty
alleviation, peace, biodiversity conservation and healthy
The World Tourism Forum for Peace and Sustainable Development was
brought to life by President Lula and Brazil's Institute of
Hospitality which attracted private sector funding and substantive
support from the National Geographic Society and Counterpart