Предстваляем вниманию речь Генерального секретаря ЮНВТО г-на Талеб Рифаи на международной научной конференции «Центральноазиатский ренессанс в истории мировой цивилизации», прошедшей 28 августа т.г. в Самарканде.
Remarks by Taleb Rifai
Samarkand, Uzbekistan, 28 August 2017
What an honor and a pleasure it was to meet with Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev last night.
Mr. President is a destined leader for a great nation in the right time and the right place.
His focus on people is the right and noble approach.
Therefore I wish him and the good people of Uzbekistan all the best.
Congratulations on your Independence Day.
Mr. Yousef al-Othaimeen
Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri
ASSALAMU - ALAYKUM
Charles Darwin once said:
‘It is not the strongest, or the most intelligent, who will survive, but those who can best manage change.’
Today, the world is fast changing. The world is at a major transformation juncture, and Change is the essence of our time.
Two major global transformation forces are leading this change. Two Revolutions are changing the world as we know it.
1. The digital Mobile revolution,
2. The Travel revolution.
In 1950, there were 25 million travelers crossing international borders, in that year, mostly within the rich industrialized economies. In 2016, last year, there were 1235 million travelers crossed international borders in one year, almost 1/6 of the people of the world make an international trip every year.
Millions of people travel today despite tremendous challenges –
• Health pandemics
• Natural disasters
With more than 1.2 Billion international travelers per year, tourism today is contributing tremendous benefits to communities, economies and societies all over the world,
• Generating $ 3.2 billion of global spending every day
• Creating 1/10 jobs all over the world
• Representing 10.2 % of world GDP
• And 30% of world trade in services
• Developing infrastructure
• Boosting trade
• Providing new opportunities for social progress and social inclusion
Travel and tourism is today the 3rd largest export industry in the world after chemicals and fuels.
By 2030, UNWTO forecast 1.8 billion international travelers will be crossing borders in that year.
People are defying all odds and traveling the world,
Travel has become today a way of life
It is not any more just a human need or urge but, has become today a
To enjoy the world,
To do business,
To seek healthcare,
To seek education
In 40, 50, 60 years from now, I therefore, believe that, the future generations will look back at this time and age, and say
"That was the Age of Travel"
Behind the impressive numbers of economic and social contributions of travel and tourism to the development agenda, lays an even more impressive transformative force-
А force lifting communities out of poverty
A force providing decent jobs for youth and women
A force boosting trade and infrastructure
A force empowering local communities
A force capable, when well managed, to contribute positively to change the world
And, most importantly,
A force of unity in an increasingly divided world,
A force for good.
Travel and tourism can breakdown stereotypes and misconceptions.
You can never, ever hold feeling of hate or resentment to people you have visited,
Shared their food,
Shared their music,
Shared their stories,
Shared their dreams.
Travel, my friends, opens minds, open eyes and open hearts.
We became better people when we travel
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said:
“Beyond the measurable advances that tourism can make possible, it is also a bridge to better mutual understanding among people from all walks.
At a time when the world is still suffering from many deficits – Economic deficit, Educational deficit, Technological deficit, the most critical of all deficits is the deficit of tolerance and understanding.
And there is nothing more effective than people traveling and visiting each other rubbing shoulders, to remedy this deficit.
Travel and tourism can bring people together to defeat hate, bigotry and resentment.
Tourism is an industry that connects people from different cultures and backgrounds, across borders, and is a positive celebration of life.
This is precisely why we are targeted as an industry and this is precisely why we should never allow the forces of darkness to win, to isolate us from each other this is why we must continue to travel.
But with growth comes power, and, with power, comes responsibility, with 1.8 billion travelers, we could end up with 1.8 bln opportunities, or 1.8 bln disasters with 1.8 billion travelers. We must, therefore, ensure that today, this fascinating 21st century human activity translates into,
1.Opportunities for inclusive economic growth - buy local
2.Opportunities for more and better jobs, decent jobs - hire local
3.Opportunities to protect our natural and cultural heritage - use tourism revenue
4.Opportunities to better know and respect each other - inquire and engage
5.Opportunities to bond people, bond hearts and minds - reach out
6.Opportunities to distribute wealth and share prosperity - spend fairly
These opportunities, my Friends, are the essence of our mission in life.
My Dear Friends,
In 2015, the UNGA accomplished three very important milestones,
1. The 17 SDG, a roadmap to 2030 were approved,
2. The Paris agreement was agreed,
3. 2017 was designated as "The international year of sustainable tourism for development".
2017 is, therefore, a very special year for us in the travel and tourism industry, and a unique opportunity for all of us to come together to promote the contributions of travel and tourism as a grand 21st century human activity, to shape a better future for people and planet.
We are here, at what is truly the capital the golden age of the Islamic civilization.
The UNESCO’s World Heritage List reads ‘Samarkand – Crossroads of Cultures’.
But more than it being the most important crossroads of cultures throughout its history, more than it being the Middle Age center for knowledge exchange in Central Asia, more than it being a center for cultural and economic interaction, more than it being the most important hub along the Silk Road, Samarkand is a fascinating story on its own.
As a young man from Jordan, growing up, in the 50's and the 60's of last century, learning about and living with the stories of Ibn Sina, Al Khawarizmi, Al Farabi, Al Bukhari and many, many others.
To my generation, their stories, their achievements and their contributions translated simply into what we call today – The Islamic Civilization,
They represented everything we were and still are, proud of.
Today, we know, that Samarkand was home to them all, and that we are here today in Uzbekistan, probably, in the company of their grandchildren.
Just close your eyes for a moment, and imagine what was it like here, 800 years ago? This was the Middle Age Silicon Valley, the birthplace of modern Renaissance. This was the place where life as we know it today started to take shape. This, my Friends, is where it all began.
Just a few meters out there thousands of miles away from the birthplace of Islam, this is where the Islamic Civilization took shape and form. This is where the knowledge, innovation and human contributions of the Classical Antiquity were absorbed, enriched, reinvented and passed on with pride and integrity to the Modern Western Renaissance.
This is why no one in the world today, should go about the journey of life without visiting Uzbekistan once in a life time.
We travel to places that we respect,
respect the people,
respect the history,
respect the culture,
respect the nature.
Because in doing so, we respect ourselves, we find our reserves of self-respect.
That is why people will travel more and more to Uzbekistan.
That is why Samarkand will continue to receive more and more visitors
Who seek self respect and connections with their own past.
I come to Uzbekistan to search for my roots to understand where I came from, to understand who I am.
In this International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development our message is,
TRAVEL ENJOY RESPECT
I wish to close with the words of James Elroy Flecker, the English poet and playwright, who can illustrate much better than I can, not just the magic of Samarkand, but the magic of travel itself:
“We travel not for trafficking alone;
By hotter winds our hearts are fanned;
For lust of knowing what should not be known
We take the Golden Road to Samarkand.”
Video, travel, enjoy, respect.