Building peace in the minds of men and women

Launch of the global campaign against illegal trafficking in tourism

Berlin February 5 - At the World Tourism Fair (ITB Berlin), UNESCO and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the International Bureau for the Fight against Drugs and Crime (UNODC) launched a global campaign against illicit trafficking entitled "travel, do not traffic" (yes the journey, not the traffic).

"Tourism can be a blessing for the country, for its development and economy, it should not be a curse" said Irina Bokova, stating that the illicit trafficking of cultural property, one of the largest in the world, is still unknown to the general public and deserves advocacy of great magnitude. "For years, the theft of cultural property on sightseeing was not considered a crime. Today tourists must acquire the habit of asking the origin of cultural goods they buy to make sure they were not stolen and does not come from illegal trafficking. "

"In 2012 we exceeded for the first time the threshold of thousands of tourists and international travelers" declared M Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization. "This is a significant force for change, it is 1 billion opportunities to build a better world. "

"Responsible tourism is not only fair but good for the industry. Unethical kills tourism industry on which it depends. It is essential to preserve the human, natural and cultural heritage of the countries visited, otherwise deplete the source of the tourism industry" he added.

Yury Fedotov, Executive-Director of the United Nations Office against Drugs and Crime is back on the extent of human trafficking related to tourism activities and the need to act together to apprehend illegal trafficking that are often interconnected, because the activities of money laundering, weapons trafficking, human trafficking and cultural objects are related. "This campaign is a good example of cooperation between UN agencies, and the private sector," he said in the direction of Kathleen Matthews, Executive Vice President of Marriott Hotels and Alex Alt, President of Sabre, also partners’ initiative.

"Poverty, exclusion, lack of opportunities ... the tourism sector is at the forefront of all these social fragility and extremely well placed to provide answers if 1 billion people are mobilized, we can change the world" .

"We say that the illicit traffic of cultural property is estimated at $ 7 billion per year, but this is not a question of money: the looting of cultural property is a theft of identities and history of a people, and we must fight all our forces. I hope this campaign will help make any tourist a more respectful of other cultures and ambassador of a more sustainable world. This campaign is not just a campaign on tourism, but on citizenship" concluded Irina Bokova.