New Delhi, Nov 24: Union Culture Minister Ambika Soni will leave for Colombia today to attend the 17th Session of General Assembly of United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
During the General Assembly of the UNWTO, Soni will attend the ministerial meeting and make a statement in the plenary session.
During her three-day visit, she will also have bilateral meetings with her counterparts of Colombia, China, Turkey, Egypt, South Africa and South Asian Countries.
Before returning to New Delhi, she will have a halt at Miami and interact with tour operators there to promote India as a tourist destination.
The World Tourism Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations, is the leading international organization in the field of tourism. It serves as a global forum for tourism policy issues and practical source of tourism know how.
In 2006, the UNWTO's membership comprised of 150 countries, seven territories and more than 300 Affiliate Members representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities.
With requests received from three more countries (Montenegro, Tajikistan and Brunei Darussalam), the total membership of UNWTO will increase to 153 countries at the end of 17th Session of General Assembly.
The Executive Council is WTO"s governing board is responsible for ensuring that the Organization carries out its work and adheres to its budget.
It meets twice a year and is composed of 30 members elected by the General Assembly in a ratio of one for every five full members.
As host country of WTO"s Head Quarters, Spain has permanent seat on the Executive Council. At present Tunisia is the Chairman of the Executive Council and Argentina and Hungary are the Vice Chairmen.
India is a member of the Executive Council. India was elected to the Executive Council in the last session of the General Assembly which was held in Dakar, Senegal in 2005.
India has presented its candidature for the post of the Chairmanship of the Executive Council which according to the principle of the geographical rotation between the regions, should be given to a member country from South Asia at the forthcoming session of the General Assembly.
The new Chairman of the Executive Council will take over the charge in the 82nd Meeting of the Executive Council which will be held on November 29 after the session of General Assembly ends.