United States May Rejoin World Tourism Organization

High-level officials from the United States Department of State have met with the World Tourism Organization to discuss possibly rejoining the organization, which is part of the United Nations.

A press release from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) revealed that Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, Kevin Moley, and Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs Manisha Singh met with UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.

The meeting comes on the heels of an announcement that the USA is exploring rejoining UNWTO, of which it is a founding member.

UNWTO said in a statement that the two parties had productive discussions as the terms of membership for the United States are being finalized.

The meeting marks the highest-level visit of a US delegation to the UNWTO headquarters thus far, the organization said.

In June, the United States used the occasion of the UNWTO Executive Council meeting to confirm that it was exploring the possibility of rejoining, stating that the UNWTO offers great potential to fuel economic growth in the U.S. tourism sector, create new jobs for American workers, and highlight American travel destinations.

“It is extremely encouraging that the United States has clearly signaled its intention to rejoin UNWTO and support tourism as a key driver of job creation, investments and entrepreneurship and safeguarding natural and cultural heritage the world over,” Pololikashili said in the statement issued today.

The UNWTO is just one example of multi-lateral engagements the U.S. has withdrawn from in recent years. The U.S. has also previously withdrawn from the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Paris climate agreement, and the Iran nuclear deal.

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