Re-dedication of IIPT Peace Park Featured Opening Day of UNWTO General Assembly
Re-dedication of the IIPT International Peace Park at Victoria Falls was the featured event on Opening Day of the UNWTO General Assembly with Dr. Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary General giving the main address at the Ceremony. Other speakers included: Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, the first President of Zambia; King Mukuni of the Leya People on whose land Victoria Falls is located; H.E. Akel Biltaji, representing H.M. King Abdullah II of Jordan; and IIPT Founder and President, Louis D’Amore.
Dr. Patrick Kalifungwa, Vice Chancellor of Livingstone International University of Tourism Excellence and Business Management (LIUTEBM) was Master of Ceremony and organizer of the event. Dr. Kalifungwa, a member of the IIPT International Advisory Board, was Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources in 2005 when the IIPT International Peace Park was first dedicated as a legacy of the third IIPT African Conference.
Also taking part in the re-dedication were: Hon. Sylvia Masebo, Minister of Tourism and Arts, Zambia; Hon. Alain St. Ange, Minister of Tourism, Seychelles; Charlotte Scott, wife of Zambia; Vice President, Guy Scott; Thomas Steinmetz, Publisher, eTurbo News and Chairman, International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP) and Prof. Geoffrey Lipman, President of ICTP.
King Mukuni assured all participants in the peace park re-dedication that the Victoria Falls world heritage site is being well looked after by his people for the good of all the world. Dr. Kaunda commended IIPT for organizing the event saying “This is an extremely important occasion and we are happy again to be on your land King Mukuni.”
Dr. Taleb Rifai, main speaker at the event, said tourism is the most fascinating human activity of the 21st century. “We become better people when we travel; we become more tolerant, more understanding, and respect one another as human beings for what we are. This is the essence of what tourism is all about.” Dr. Rifai said the re-dedication of the park as an international peace park is a reminder of the underlying message of friendship. “There is nothing more important than living in peace and harmony with one another.”
H.E. Akel Biltaji opened the ceremony with a prayer reminding us that we are all sons and daughters of the one Creator, and therefore brothers and sisters on this precious planet which we share as our common home.
H.E. Biltaji brought with him six olive trees to be planted in the Peace Park as a symbol of Jordan’s love and peace that his country represents. The olive trees were from a nursery adjacent to Bethany Beyond the Jordan, site of Christ’s baptism and also a UNESCO world heritage site. Bethany Beyond the Jordan is also the site of an IIPT International Peace Park dedicated on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the first year of the new millennium as a legacy of IIPT’s first global summit in Amman.
In closing the ceremony, IIPT Founder and President, Louis D’Amore said that IIPT was most honored by the presence of the esteemed dignitaries at the event, thanked Dr. Taleb Rifai for UNWTO’s continuing support. He stated that as this Peace Park was being re-dedicated, some 30 towns and villages in South Africa, Jamaica, the Caribbean and India were also dedicating Peace Parks as they committed themselves to being IIPT/Skal Towns of Peace. D’Amore prayed that the “Roots of these peace trees planted here today will spread to the North, South, East and West bringing peace to all of Africa and throughout the world.”
25th Anniversary Legacy Projects announced at IIPT Breakfast during UNWTO General Assembly
IIPT’s Breakfast at the UNWTO General Assembly featured Dr. Taleb Rifai and other distinguished speakers including Professor Geoffrey Lipman, President, International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP) and Director of GreenEarth and Gatetrip, who also acted as Moderator; Dr. Donald Hawkins, Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Tourism Policy, George Washington University and Special Advisor to the UNWTO Secretary General for the UNWTO Knowledge Network; Nigel Pilkington representing Skal International, and Dean Gilbert Nsama, Dean of Livingstone International University of Tourism Excellence and Business Management (LIUTEBM) sponsor of the breakfast.
Following his inspiring talk, Dr. Rifai was presented a plaque by IIPT Founder and President, Louis D’Amore together with Geoffrey Lipman. The plaque is an image of the “Global Family” by artist Padre Johnson who spent 13 years traveling around the world and painting portraits of people with whom he broke bread and shared stories. The right half of the plaque is composed of the IIPT Credo of the Peaceful Traveler.
In making his presentation, Louis D’Amore reviewed the main achievements of IIPT over the past 25 years and concluded with the announcement of IIPT 25th Anniversary Legacy projects.
IIPT Consortium of Collaborating Universities (IIPT-CCU)
The IIPT-CCU is the first legacy project launched earlier this year. More than 20 participating universities from regions throughout the world including Africa, Asia, North America, Europe, Australia, the Caribbean and South Pacific have become members. Aim of the consortium is to encourage academic research by third and fourth year university students in the various dimensions of “Peace through Tourism.”
Peace Tours Morocco
The second legacy initiative is “Peace Tours Morocco” - a product developed by IIPT Partner Munditinera – Cultural Bridges International and being distributed throughout the world in collaboration with Skål International. A portion of all revenues from the tours are being donated to the International Red Cross, Geneva in support of their programs for victims of armed conflict. Additional Peace tours will be announced during the course of the year.
IIPT/Skål Peace Towns and Villages
A third legacy project recently announced - the IIPT/Skål Peace Towns initiative is inviting towns and villages throughout the world to dedicate a Peace Park and in so doing, ….to be actively committed to promoting values of tolerance, non-violence, gender equality, human rights, youth empowerment, environmental integrity, and sustainable human, social and economic development.
Nearly 30 towns and villages in South Africa, Jamaica, the Caribbean and India committed themselves to being IIPT/Skal Peace Towns and Villages by dedicating Peace Parks in their respective communities on Opening Day of the UNWTO General Assembly as the IIPT Victoria Falls International Peace Park was being re-dedicated (see above article).
IIPT/Skal Executive Ambassador Program
The fourth legacy project announced and soon to be launched is an IIPT/Skal Executive Ambassador Program which will match developing countries having a need for executive level guidance in particular areas such as destination marketing, with experienced and knowledgeable retired Skal executives on a pro bono basis for periods of 1 to 4 months.
Persons or organizations interested in any of the above initiatives are invited to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org expressing their interest.
Nineteen Jamaican and Caribbean Villages to be declared as IIPT/Skal Peace Villages
IIPT and Skal International are proud to announce that nineteen villages of Jamaica and the Caribbean will be declaring themselves as IIPT/ Skal Peace Villages on 24 August – Opening Day of the UNWTO General Assembly as Secretary General Dr. Taleb Rifai, co-hosting Ministers, Hon. Sylvia Masebo, Zambia, Hon. Walter Mzembi, Zimbabwe and other dignitaries come together to re-dedicate the IIPT International Peace Park at Victoria Falls.
By declaring themselves as IIPT/Skal Peace Villages each village agrees that they will be actively committed to promoting values of tolerance, non-violence, gender equality, human rights, youth empowerment, environmental awareness, and sustainable social and economic development.
In making the announcement IIPT Founder and President, Louis D’Amore praised IIPT Caribbean President Diana McIntyre-Pike for her leadership in promoting the peace village concept among Jamaican and Caribbean communities: “It was Diana’s passion and dedication to both community tourism and ‘peace through tourism’ that inspired these communities to become IIPT/Skal Villages of Peace.”
Diana is a pioneer and internationally acclaimed expert in community tourism who actively promotes community tourism through her Countrystyle Community Tourism Network. She believes that tourists seeking authentic community tourism will be more interested in experiencing communities that have committed themselves to “peace, harmony, love and unity for all citizens.”
“Let's do it in the Caribbean,” the marketing and PR partner/Representative for the Caribbean Community Tourism family and all IIPT/SKAL Villages will be included in the overall marketing program for the 'Caribbean Community Experience'. All villages are members of the Countrystyle Community Tourism Network/Villages as Businesses program.
The following villages will be declaring themselves as IIPT/Skal Villages of Peace while dedicating a Peace Park on 24 August, 2013, Opening Day of the UNWTO General Assembly:
Jamaica: Treasure Beach Village –St. Elizabeth; Accompong Maroon Village – St. Elizabeth; Resource Village – Manchester; Albert Town – Trelawny; Axe-n-Adze/Mt.Petro – Hanover; Rastafarian Indigenous Village –St. James; Camrose Village – St. James; Charles Town Maroon Village – Portland; Beeston Spring Village – Westmoreland; Kitson Town Village – St. Catherine; Mandeville TTown /Brooks Park– Manchester.
Dominica: Marigot Village; Heart of Dominica Village; Grand Bay Village/Geneva Heritage Park; Newtown/Charlotteville/Castle Comfort.
Tortola: Carrot Bay Village.
British Virgin Islands: Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda
St. Vincent: Greiggs Village.
Towns and Villages anywhere in the world are invited to become an IIPT/Skal Peace Town or Village. Please email: email@example.com to express your interest.
The Peace Towns/Villages project is a legacy project commemorating IIPT’s 25th anniversary year since its First Global Conference: Tourism – A Vital Force for Peace held in Vancouver, Canada 1988.
Ms. Glendyrr Fick, General Manager of Knysna Tourism and IIPT member has successfully launched her “Green Chefs Initiative” with the Knysna Tourism Living Local Green Chefs event this past month in Knysna, South Africa – heart of the Garden Route.
Charmaine Sinclair was the top chef of this year’s inaugural event with her menu of mutton curry with sambals, poppadoms and rice, and a sweet treat of an apple tartlet served with custard and vanilla slice. Charmaine took home a cash prize of R1 000 for her efforts, while each finalist received R 500. All five of the finalists will also participate in a formal cooking training program with Kilzer’s Kitchen Basics during August.
“Winning this competition has given me such encouragement and the confidence to believe that cooking is not only my passion, but that I am good at it too!” Charmaine exclaimed. “Now I feel that I can confidently take part in even bigger competitions. So thank you, Knysna Tourism – and Glendyrr in particular – for giving me this opportunity to learn even more.”
Glendyrr explained that this competition formed part of a bigger project. “The aim of the Knysna Tourism Living Local Green Chefs Initiative is to empower residents of local rural communities within and around the national parks in the Greater Garden Route National Park,” she said. “This will be done by teaching them excellent cooking skills, good business practice and vegetable gardening, accompanied by a sound mentorship program. This project will eventually be implementable at all national parks in South Africa - or even further afield on the continent and across the globe.”
“We are also working on establishing a unique supply chain route, the Eden Slow Food Route, which we hope to support the Green Chefs in sourcing local produce. The emphasis will be on locally produced, wholesome food, produced by locals with great care and integrity,” Glendyrr continued. “These organic producers will also supply to other establishments in the local tourism industry.”
To learn more about the Green Chefs initiative or the Eden Slow Food Route, please contact Glendyrr Fick at 044 382 5510 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) is a not for profit organization dedicated to fostering travel and tourism initiatives that contribute to international understanding and cooperation, an improved quality of environment, the preservation of heritage, and poverty reduction; and through these initiatives, helping to bring about a peaceful and sustainable world. It is founded on a vision of the world’s largest industry, travel and tourism – becoming the world’s first global peace industry; and the belief that every traveler is potentially an “Ambassador for Peace.”