PRESIDENT OF EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON TOURISM AND TRADE
Your Excellency Academician Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of Republic of Djibouti
Your Excellency Mr. Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed, Prime Minister of Republic of Djibouti
Your Excellency, Mr. Mahmoud Ali Youssef, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Djibouti
Esteemed members of Government of Djibouti, members of Parliament of Djibouti, distinguished member’s diplomatic corps
All protocol observed,
It is today a historic moment for global tourism and for Africa, as we have come here to mark the recognition of DJIBOUTI as a member of WORLD`S CAPITALS OF CULTURE AND TOURISM list.
Djibouti becomes the first city in Africa to be recognized by the global tourism institutions as a center for tourism, an example for culture and a model for development in XXI century.
Since his inception WORLD CAPITAL OF CULTURE AND TOURISM program was build around the decision taken by global tourism institutions: EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON TOURISM AND TRADE and EUROPEAN TOURISM ACADEMY to offer to the world examples of tourism development that are harmonious and are protecting historical potential and natural patrimony and are offering opportunities for growth for all.
WORLD CAPITAL OF CULTURE AND TOURISM it is today a part of the AGENDA FOR HUMANITY and universally recognized as an ambitious effort destined to establish a world list of cities and regions that are encompassing the legacy of humanity, that are harboring traditions and costumes unique or hosting natural treasures considered to be of outstanding and universal value.
H.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea-European Council on Tourism and Trade President.
Today there is no other global effort with the magnitude and scope of THE WORLD CAPITAL OF CULTURE AND TOURISM program.
To date this is now a part of the Sustainable Development Goals Agenda, integral part of Parliamentary Assembly for the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals actions and part and parcel of the global efforts destined to eradicate inequalities, ensure growth, develop education and cultural opportunities for all and supporting investment and development and integration policies where there are more needed.
On this note I must salute the exertions of the administration lead by Academician Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of The Republic of Djibouti and his commitment to fulfilling the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals of United Nations and for ensuring that DJIBOUTI it is and continues to be a placed for development, creativity, encouragement of free enterprise and initiative and inclusiveness for all who come to this beautiful capital city.
H.E. Academician Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of The Republic of Djibouti hailed as a world leader in development.
I also must express my gratitude to the efficient and wise team of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Djibouti Mr. Mahmoud Ali Youssef energetically represented by the Embassy in Paris Ayed Mousseid Yahya they had created the powerful diplomatic and tourism promotion exertions that led to this moment when we crown Djibouti as WORLD CAPITAL OF CULTURE AND TOURISM.
They had proven their dedication to the proud people of Djibouti and their commitment to the policies and vision of H.E. Academician Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of The Republic of Djibouti
We have now to answer the fundamental question: Why is DJIBOUTI consecrated today as WORLD CAPITAL OF CULTURE AND TOURISM?
What are travelers, visitors and mere passersby going to find here?
What is the legacy pertaining to humanity ascribable to the people of Djibouti?
First of all Djibouti is the most impressive place on the world to watch the creation of the planet earth.
Since the beginning of humanity people where attracted and interested to find the access point, the door that leads to unleashing the secrets of the creation of Earth.
Djibouti undoubtedly holds this key: here geology and nature had created the open air museum of the creation of the world: from unfinished volcanoes around Abbe Lake and the incredible structures of East African Rift visible around Lake Assal.
If you want to understand how our planet was created, is functioning and is evolving after millions of years you have to come to Djibouti: where the world was created.
The famous French geologist Haroun Tazieff, had here, in Djibouti, the honor of discovering the world newest volcano: Ardoukôba reactivated after a 3.000 years sleep.
Djibouti: land of exception and country of exceptional, the only place where we can witness the geological history of our planet.
Only for this incredible potential of a country that is standing as witness to our planet birth and destiny and by virtue of this alone Djibouti will well deserve the title of world capital.
Djibouti is on equal footing a place of destiny and a receptacle of culture, a unique place that carves destinies like no other.
I will recollect the adventures and poetic influence that Djibouti held over Arthur Rimbaud who decided that all that is having significance in life is to wander between the Red Sea, Tadjourah, Djibouti, Lake Assal in a mystical journey for which he sacrificed family, poetic glory and all his prospects.
All of life glory just for a breath of Djibouti air.
It was not the only one: Henry de Monfreid has made his fortune and his literary name on the marvelous rocks of Obock, on the shores of Djibouti.
The spell and sway cam about personalities like: Albert Londres, Ryszard Kapuscinski, Hugo Pratt and many others.
What does have Djibouti so magic, so powerful, so un-equal that attracts to his sandy shores poets, adventurers, painters, novelists and all mans who have a soul and a passion and soles of wind?
It is the magical door to the creation of the Earth?
It the incredible power of the desert?
It is the clarion call of the caravans that are making everybody to want to come to Djibouti, to share this city fame, glory and all-powerful sun?
Djibouti is not only the portal to world creation as Haroun Tazieff was seeing it, nor the mystery place where life is finding his meaning as Rimbaud claim it or simply the only place on the planet to call home as Henry de Monfreid consider it.
Djibouti is foremost a world example of cohabitation, of peaceful harmony of peoples and languages, all creating a perfect home, an abode where everybody is building and uniting costumes, traditions and legacies.
Where if not in Djibouti you can see in the same city the rich cultural landscape the beautiful mosque Hamoudi , the crowded markets of Menelik Square or African quarter, churches, coffee, hides and tobacco?
All united in a perfect melting pot that speaks of faith, history, rich traditions and patrimony.
Djibouti it is also all about water in the same proportions as is all about desert.
No wonder Djibouti was placed to stay guard to the Red Sea and Bab El Mandeb as here everything is valued in water: water of the tears of happiness for travelers who reached Djibouti after perilous journeys, of sweat from the caravans coming from far and wide, even the decision of Leonce Lagarde to build a city on Ras al Djibouti was taken pondering the wealth of water of the region.
The first President of Djibouti, Hassan Gouled Aptidon explain most clearly this unique role of melting pot of culture and costumes of Djibouti at the crossroads of the world.
Djibouti is that unique place, he said, where we met the creeds of the peoples of herds and milk and those of the peoples of grain and grapes.
Here is the place where the traveler can meet, in the same space of time and place, the creations specific to the nomadic civilization and to the urban and settlers way of life.
If the political figure penned such a clear vision of Djibouti as the place of communion of different cultures and garbs and creeds the poet has also a similar vision: Djibouti is not at the shores of the ocean, it is at the fringes of the desert. This is the secret of his sweet magnet: the city is build by the sea but his people are belonging to the desert.
What other place on this planet can boost being the place where man`s of sand and land are living in a city of water and salt.
Djibouti is this unique spot: a place of magic!
The magic of the beginning of Earth`s history, the geological miracle of the gates of Earth opening and a place where volcanoes are resurrected after 3000 years sleep.
Djibouti is the magic of poets and dreamers that where touched by the aura of this place and in turn they give Djibouti a name in the cultural history of the world.
The magic of men`s who created here kingdoms, built mosques and carved out cities that lasted for hundreds of years.
The magic of nature: the all-powerful desert, the lowest place on African continent: Lake Assal, the still creating miracle of earth creation along the shores of Lake Abbe, the place where whales are coming to give the miracle of life and birth.
In a way maybe this is the magic of Djibouti: is the place where always life is finding a way, is recreating and creating for millions of years.
We could highlight the wonders of Tadjoura, the famed city of the seven mosques, the fabled places of Obock, end of the road of coffee and start of the journeys on sea for hundreds of years or the perfect place that Djibouti city is offering for visitors: melting pot, center of cultures, traditions or creeds coming together to build a model, to build a WORLD CAPITAL OF CULTURE AND TOURISM
All these are world treasures of cultural and historical value and significance that are part of the miracle that is Djibouti: WORLD CAPITAL OF CULTURE AND TOURISM.
We hope and trust that the inscription of Djibouti on the list of WORLD CAPITALS OF CULTURE AND TOURISM together with the continuous exertions of the government of President Ismail Omar Gulleh will make the city not only the center of tourism, of culture but a place where the future and past are intertwined together.
Your Excellency Academician Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of Republic of Djibouti
It is my privilege to handover to Your Excellency, as the highest representative leader of people and tourism of REPUBLIC OF DJIBOUTI the award and regalia’s for DJIBOUTI – THE WORLD CAPITAL OF CULTURE AND TOURISM.
H.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, President of European Council on Tourism and Trade has publicly signed the official decision naming DJIBOUTI as WORLD CAPITAL OF CULTURE AND TOURISM on April 10, 2018, in the presence of the diplomatic corps accredited to the global tourism institutions: European Council on Tourism and Trade and European Tourism Academy.
The induction of Djibouti as World Capital of Culture and Tourism will take place on April 19, 2018, on the occasion of the official handover ceremony to be held at Presidential Palace in Djibouti.
European Council on Tourism and Trade President (center image) announces DJIBOUTI-WORLD CAPITAL OF CULTURE AND TOURISM (on the left Acad. Emil Constantinescu-President of Romania).
The Spring 2018 meeting of European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT) has taken place offering new opportunities for global cooperation and tourism development.
The meeting enjoyed the presence of the president of Romania. Academician Emil Constantinescu.
Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, President of European Council on Tourism and Trade has stated: among the recently inscribed candidates for the world top cultural award Djibouti is standing out as a luminary example.
Academician Mircea Constantinescu (European Tourism Academy) presented to Cuban Ambassador by ECTT President Dr. Anton Caragea.
In the second line(l-r): Mr. Mihai Prundianu-ECTT Chairman, Mr. Gabriel Rasvan-Presidential Adviser.
The country encompasses ten tentative world heritage sites on tentative list ranging from natural treasures and natural protected areas such as: Lake Assal and Lake Abbe, National Park Foret du day to the tumulus of Awellos, cave paintings of Abourma.
The capital city, Djibouti is home to a treasure trove of architectural marvels from the historical Haji Hamoudi Mosque, European Quarter (Malik Square) and African Quarter, Djibouti Cathedral and Ethiopian Church Saint Gabriel of the Sun and the cultural blending space of Les Caisses etc.
Taking under consideration the large array of traditions blending in the country from Issa and Afar cultural heritage to the French inspirations, the incredibly rich and fascinating natural landscape offered for tourists to discover and evaluating the government decisions inscribed in DJIBOUTI VISION 2035 to make tourism a pillar of development we have taken the decision to validate DJIBOUTI candidature for WORLD CAPITAL OF CULTURE AND TOURISM designation.
Ambassadors from Cuba, Japan, Korea, Indonesia and Armenia on European Council on Tourism and Trade ceremony for DJIBOUTI-WORLD CAPITAL OF CULTURE AND TOURISM.
In the presence of the diplomatic corps and registered members of the Executive Board of the European Council on Tourism and Trade Professor Dr. Anton Caragea proceeded to the public signing of the decree to that effect.
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More about WORLD CAPITAL OF CULTURE AND TOURISM is accessible here:
European Tourism Academy Director, Academician Mircea Constantinescu presented for the diplomatic corps present for the occasion the LETTER FOR WORLD LEADERS OF TOURISM AND DEVELOPMENT that will be addressed to H.E. President Ismail Omar Guelleh marking his selection as the new Academician member of EUROPEAN TOURISM ACADEMY.
H.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, European Council on Tourism and Trade President announces the decision: WORLD CAPITAL OF CULTURE AND TOURISM is DJIBOUTI.
President Ismail Omar Guelleh has succeeded in carving out on Djibouti a space for international peace and security and in making Djibouti a key to African continent peace and security.
Today Djibouti is ensuring security along the Red Sea, is opening African continent to trade and riches and commercial exchanges and has succeeded in making Djibouti in a pole of economic growth.
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More about WORLD LEADERS OF TOURISM AND DEVELOPMENT can be observed here:
Djibouti has supported the building of Addis Ababa –Djibouti railroad, has constructed Africa`s bigger deepwater seaport, has garnered top-notch investments and rise up on being number five economy in the world in term of annual growth.
These are the achievements of an adroit, powerful and visionary leader that is creating growth where it was only poverty and opportunities where there was only despair and a miracle where it was only desert, outlined the merits of the new academician Professor Mircea Constantinescu.
Dr. Emil Constantinescu, President of Romania (1996-2000) mentioned that recognizing Djibouti as a world center of culture and tourism and electing President Ismail Omar Guelleh to the highest academic rank are perfect connection supporting Europe and Africa cooperation and future relations.
Signing the official decrees for DJIBOUTI as WORLD CAPITAL OF CULTURE AND TOURISM and for H.E. President ISMAIL OMAR GUELLEH as ACADEMICIAN member of EUROPEAN TOURISM ACADEMY concluded the ceremonies and then a vin d’honneur was served for diplomats in attendance.
Other decisions taken by European Council on Tourism and Trade where: the selection of a new diplomatic partner, the celebration of European Tourism Day on December 1st, 2018 and the closing of World Best Tourist Destination candidature list on May 15th, 2018.
President of Global Tourism Institution ECTT, Professor Dr. Anton Caragea has sent a congratulatory cable to the new Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali on his election to the premiership office.
European Council on Tourism and Trade President Professor Dr. Anton Caragea announcing Ethiopia as WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION IN 2015.
The President’s message reads as follows:
I want to start by congratulating you on the occasion of the election as Prime Minister of Federal Republic of Ethiopia and as Chairman of Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front and take this opportunity to wish you joy, happiness and successes for all your loved ones and a perfect year for ETHIOPIA and his people(…)
I want to avail to this opportunity to wish you a perfect mandate, on personal level with health and happiness, and on government level, a mandate of accomplishments in your exertions for a better future and for development of people of Ethiopia.
European Council on Tourism and Trade and the Government of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia share a long history of cooperation in building tourism, cultural and developmental cooperation between Europe and Ethiopia and we express our goodwill and desire for a continuous cooperation with Your Excellency Government.
More about Europe-Ethiopia relations can be accessed here:
On behalf of EuropeanCouncil on Tourism and Trade, I express our desire to work closely with Your Excellency towards the achievement of the objectives set in the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals, including the promotion of tourism, development projects and the advancement of bilateral cooperation.
Africa is on the rise is a well-known trope but the rapid climbing on the top of world tourist destinations is a reality powered by booming economies, improving security, better air connectivity and of course incredible natural and historical potential.
To mark this fortunate moment for Africa`s development and to mark down an African vision we present our readers with six accomplishments that are placing President Ismail Omar Guelleh achievements on the top of African and world tourism leadership.
President of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh was elected as a member of European Tourism Academy and has received the Letter addressed to world leaders in tourism and development in recognition of his visionary leadership in related to tourism.
Here are six arguments that can solid present his case:
Air Djibouti has succeeded a new re-birth starting with cargo activities in 2015 and started again to fly across the world: “Djibouti is reconfirming his strategic position in the international commerce, global transport and it is centrally positioned at the heart of the second most important maritime trade line in the world” marked Aboubaker Omar Hadi, president of Port and Free Trade Authority of Djibouti in a public ceremony on the tarmac of Djibouti airport.
New air travel connections will start in 2017, linking Asia and Europe with Africa welcoming around 200.000 passengers per year on board of his flights.
Djibouti Airport and Djibouti Air are both state-owned companies that are proving that in a highly competitive market they can still impose themselves, bring profit and attract international costumers as long as they are well-managed.
Visa on arrival
Djibouti is one of the world most accommodating to world tourists offering visa on arrival to a large number of citizens from Europe, Asia and Africa.
European Journal of Tourism Visa Openness 2018 evaluation placed Djibouti on the second position among African countries in term of friendliness for tourism entry and visa facilities.
Djibouti City: a well-groomed city
In contrast to many other world cities, the capital of Djibouti is a safe, clean and order city ranking year after year on top of best cities to live in.
Security is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most important issues in promoting tourism.
Djibouti is an example of order and with the country hosting military bases of United States, France and China you could be well safe in this nation that is enjoying a perfect security situation and is a proven exporter of stability throughout Africa.
You can read more about tourism and development on:
Djibouti city is renowned for the great numbers of high-quality hotels, well-groomed offices where businessmen’s from around the world are feeling perfectly making the city a base for international trade on the continent.
With sophisticated infrastructure, Djibouti has succeeded in claiming the mantle of a regional capital for the international companies seeking to expand or making business in Eastern Africa.
You can watch DJIBOUTI WORLD CAPITAL OF CULTURE AND TOURISM promotion video here:
President of Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh has been named member of European Tourism Academy in recognition of his visionary leadership.
As it is the academic tradition, The Letter destined for World Leaders of Tourism and Development will be presented to H.E. President Ismail Guelleh on the opening day of World Capital of Culture and Tourism festivity by European Council on Tourism and Trade President-Professor Dr. Anton Caragea.
The European Tourism Academy encompass world leaders who proven themselves as creators of outstanding initiatives related to world development, tourism growth, tourism diplomatic initiatives and in fostering sustainable tourism and developing programs that give back to local and global communities.
European Council On Tourism and Trade President, Professor Dr. Anton Caragea presents the activities of the new academician: H.E. Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti.
President of Romania (1996-2000) Academician Emil Constantinescu attends the ceremony (photo left).
According to the international media, President Ismail Omar Guelleh is being honored for “his developmental policies which lifted Djibouti out of poverty and raised it according to World Bank on no.5 on the top of world fastest growing economies in 2018.
World Bank has placed Djibouti on no.5 on world level on the rate of economic growth.
President Ismail Omar Guelleh is to be commended for a visionary leadership that enacted on national level policies of reconciliation and inter-community dialogue, encouraged sustainable tourism, wildlife conservation, and economic development attracting major hotel investment, resulting in the remarkable turnaround that has led to Djibouti’s rise as one of the leading growing tourism destinations in Africa today (European Council on Tourism and Trade).”
The Press Dossier of an intensive diplomatic activity of a world leader: Academician Ismail Omar Guelleh President of the Republic of Djibouti.
Among other recent recipients of the Letter destined for World Leaders of Tourism and Development and academician title, an eminent place is held by H. E. Prime Minister of Kingdom of Cambodia Hun Sen who enacted policies that made Cambodia to be the first country in tourism development in 2016 and 2017 at world level.
The ECTT Awards for tourism and cultural achievements are the annual celebration that consecrates the best in the tourism industry by crowning, since 2006, the countries and nations excellence and investment in the tourism sector.
European Tourism Academy and European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT) had given the start for the 2018 competition for WORLD TOURISM AND TRAVEL AWARDS.
The European Council on Tourism and Trade Awards for tourism and travel are the flagship event for the global tourism sector.
World Tourism and Travel Awards for 2018 will be a moment of recognition for tourism and world development: ECTT President Professor Dr. Anton Caragea.
Since their inception in 2006, these awards seek to highlight the work of countries, nations and regions and cities, recognizing nations and people’s strides for their innovative and determined tourism initiatives.
The WORLD TOURISM AND TRAVEL AWARDS are encompassing: THE WORLD CAPITAL OF CULTURE AND TOURISM for cities and regions and WORLD`S BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD for countries, the special category of FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION and marking out outstanding cultural and investment tourism projects. The contribution of the nations and leaders receiving world tourism and travel prizes is adjudged in line with ECTT guidelines for World Capital of Culture and Tourism and World Best Tourist Destination Award. In twelve consecutive editions, the ECTT-European Council on Tourism and Trade Awards recognized and promoted globally the tourism potentials of the most attractive tourist and cultural destinations. President Dr. Anton Caragea and European Council on Tourism and Trade President Office staff will start from 29 January 2018 to receive the candidatures for word tourism accolades celebrated as Nobel`s or Oscar`s of tourism: the WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION and WORLD CAPITAL OF CULTURE AND TOURISM competitions.
In 2017 European Tourism Academy had received 56 candidatures from cities, regions and countries from across the world and in 2018 this number is expected to expand.
Read more about WORLD TOURISM AND TRAVEL AWARDS competition
European Council on Tourism and Trade, Ambassador Dr. Anton Caragea outlines the significance of World Tourism Awards 2018.
World Tourism and Travel Awards of world tourism institutions (European Council on Tourism and Trade and European Tourism Academy) are significant for their track record in fostering growth and development in the decorated countries.
Laos (2013 winner has registered a growth of more than 1,5 million tourists and in total a plus of 3 million visitors for Lao-World Best Tourist Destination), Zimbabwe succeeded to garner a plus of 1 million visitors in 2014/2015 and Ethiopia obtained more than 1 billion in tourism-related receipts and 1,1 million visitors for 2015 as World`s Best Tourist Destination and finally the Kingdom of Cambodia who topped the tourist growth worldwide in 2016 and 2017`s with a whopping 5 million tourists after being named World`s Best Tourist Destination. It is considered that European Council on Tourism and Trade succeeded in creating more than 100.000 jobs in the nations selected as World Best Tourist Destination (2016 survey). European Tourism Academy will start to analyze ongoing the candidatures for World`s Best Tourist Destination and World Capital of Culture and Tourism and will present the selected candidatures files for decision in General Assembly of European Council on Tourism and Trade declared Academician Mircea Constantinescu.
Video collection for WORLD TOURISM AND TRAVEL AWARDS
Phnom Penh has hosted a grandiose ceremony to honor culture, history, tourism as instruments for world development.
OFFICIAL CEREMONY OF WORLD LEADERS OF TOURISM AND DEVELOPMENT. PHNOM PENH-December 9, 2017
On this occasion in recognition of the role of paragon of development of H.E. Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo HUN SEN, the leaders of Parliamentary Assembly for Sustainable Development Goals, European Council on Tourism and Trade and European Tourism Academy elected him as the new GLOBAL AMBASSADOR FOR TOURISM AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS.
Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, European Council on Tourism and Trade President held a key note and empowerment speech explaining the main reasons for this election of Cambodia`s Prime Minister as a world leader in development and as a key figure in the global fight for sustainability and growth.
EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON TOURISM AND TRADE PRESIDENT
PROFESSOR DR. ANTON CARAGEA
DECLARATION FOR GLOBAL AMBASSADOR FOR TOURISM AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
HIS EXCELLENCY SAMDECH AKKA MOHA SENA PADEI TECHO
PRIME MINISTER OF KINGDOM OF CAMBODIA
Your Excellency Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo HUN SEN- Prime Minister of Kingdom of Cambodia,
Your Excellency Mr. Thong Khon – Minister of Tourism,
Esteemed members of Royal Government of Cambodia, members of Parliament of Cambodia, distinguished member’s diplomatic corps
All protocol observed,
We are meeting today for a historic moment, the nomination of the newest GLOBAL AMBASSADOR FOR TOURISM AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS in the person of H.E. Academician HUN SEN, Prime Minister of Kingdom of Cambodia.
The inspiring declaration of a new WORLD AMBASSADOR FOR TOURISM AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS.
It is not by chance that we met here in Phnom Penh, recently sacred as World Capital of Culture and Tourism as this is absolutely the correct address to find the world newest global ambassador and the voice supporting world-wide peace and development and fostering tourism as a tool for promoting people to people exchanges, peoples diplomacy and deep-rooted understanding and dialogue.
It is absolutely befitting that Cambodia will help the international community to have a voice in development and peace and that Khmer people give us the perfect example in building a new world, a better one.
It is not the first time that the world is looking to Cambodia for leadership and a path to glory and growth.
Fourteen centuries ago the world looked in awe to Khmer Empire for guidance, for a world example of civilization.
Angkor become a university for all the people of Asia and Indochina, from here spring up the giant temples, the powerful legends about daring goods protecting humanity, here was carved the delicate art of dance that will charm and enticed the world and become known across the ages as the Khmer civilization and made Cambodia to act as a beckon of culture and light to the world.
Prime Minister Hun Sen is a son of this proud history and in my long discussions with him I always appreciated his interest and desire in keeping alive the ancient cultural traditions and protecting the world heritage sites of Cambodia ( I will remember you all his determination in liberating the ancient temple of Preah Vihear and restoring it to The Kingdom of Cambodia patrimony without shedding a drop of blood, only by diplomatic skills and passion).
His love for the people of Cambodia, his tireless dedication for their well being made Cambodia what it is today: a center of world economic development with an annual growth rate of 7%, the most attractive market for investors, the most rapid job creator economy in the region and a country that has become a leader in tourism development.
Phnom Penh has been transformed from the ghost city of 1979 into the host of World Economic Forum for 2017 and elevated to the status of World Capital of Culture and Tourism.
A country than in 1979 has received zero tourists was transformed into the Kingdom of Wonder, World Best Tourist Destination of today, a welcoming home to more than 5 million travelers today.
If this is not an example in tourism development, then I don’t know what qualifies for one.
Cambodia is clearly showing us that in the XXI century what is important is not the size of the territory or the populace, but the will, skill and determination to contribute to the world development.
What is more important and maybe sometimes the people of Cambodia may overlook, captured by the unimaginable transformation in their life’s, is that Prime Minister Hun SEN has given them more than national pride, or independence or growth or a stable job or has helped millions to be lifted out of poverty.
Yes he did all that.. but he did something more for the people of Cambodia, he gives them a sense of direction, of stability in a troubled world, he gives them the conscience that every day will be a better one, that every day things will be done better and more diligent, in a word he gave to the people of Cambodia the diamond of HOPE.
This is what we need in the world of today from a GLOBAL AMBASSADOR FOR TOURISM AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS: to help us restore hope to the world.
Hope that the reconstruction is possible.
There are so many to be reconstructed in the world of today, so many nations plagued by wars, terrorism and destruction or plagued by climate change-related disasters need advice and guidance.
And who knows better to rebuild that Prime Minister Hun Sen?
I will give you some figures to understand something about the man who has taken Cambodia from zero to hero: from 2 billion GDP in 1979 to 54 USD billions today, from 50 USD per capita to 3.488 USD today, from zero foreign investments to 1,7 billion investment`s yearly.
From cities reduced to rubble by US bombardments and millions of peoples without home or hope, from abandoned temples and hamlets all needed to be rebuilt, to be restored in the country and with no help, the government led by Prime Minister Hun Sen created this miracle, the Cambodian miracle.
Having the shining example of Cambodia of today before our eyes these are the best qualification description and credential for a future GLOBAL AMBASSADOR FOR TOURISM AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS.
Cambodia of today, a country that is rapidly modernizing, that has become a center of encounter and dialogue for all the people for the world, that was transformed in an example of development and that is generously opening his gates for all the nations in search of cultural enlightenment, historical research and patrimony exploration.
PHNOM PENH is today a center for world diplomacy, where crises are settled and statesman’s are finding new ways for cooperation, a center of innovation and inventivity, a place where tradition and new, culture and technology are blending in a perfect way.
This is the true calling card for a leader for XXI century, for a GLOBAL AMBASSADOR FOR TOURISM AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS, for a man for whom development goals are not just a piece of paper or words to ring hollow, but are a lifetime work, are part and parcel of his existence and activity.
This year in local democratic and free elections, the people of Cambodia have the perfect occasion to pass judgment and express support to Prime Minister Hun Sen vision and they did this admirably, as a testimony of their indelible trust in his foresight.
Now we have the privileged and the honor of voting for Prime Minister Hun Sen, the man who created a free and democratic Cambodia, a country where all are equal under the sun of Angkor and where hope still survives.
Now we have entrusted him with the highest honor that we can give: to be our voice, to represent humanity aspirations for a better world, to be our world ambassador, leader and creator of visionary policies.
I must emphasize that: the recognition as GLOBAL AMBASSADOR FOR TOURISM AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS is addressed also to the people of Cambodia.
H.E Prime Minister HUN SEN is the democratically elected voice of the people of Cambodia and he represents the will of the Cambodian people, the will of unity, his industriousness, his energy in building a better and powerful and independent Cambodia, this is the marvelous people of Cambodia that we honor today.
Last year, I was having a special feeling when I remarked that the world needs Academician HUN SEN exertions and contribution, well this year this appeal becomes more real than ever.
In a recent declaration, Prime Minister Hun Sen said he is contemplating staying in the service of his nation for at least ten more years.
Well, we need him for at least twenty more, to steer us on the path of development goals completion and fruition and to help us build a better world, a world of peace and understanding, a world of hope.
Your Excellency, Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Prime Minister HUN SEN we entrust you with the responsibility of GLOBAL AMBASSADOR FOR TOURISM AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS reminding you our commitments: to support humanity, to leave no one behind and no one excluded, to build a better world for us all.
These are the bonds that unite us, give form to our aspirations, to our belongings, and this is the language of humanism and human dignity, the language of an AMBASSADOR FOR TOURISM AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS.
Prime Minister HUN SEN the world recognized you as THE NEW GLOBAL AMBASSADOR FOR TOURISM AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS.