Ambassadors in Madrid invited to the UNWTO Bribery Cocktail at the Ritz: Who is going?



  • UNWTO loves to bribe ambassadors over dinner or drinks – and it shows.
  • Zurab Pololikashvili, the current secretary-general of the World Tourism Organization will make a move this week, according to information received by eTurboNews sources.
  • In January it was also dinner in Madrid, so this is number two.

Who are the ambassadors willing to attend such an event sponsored by Georgia or UNWTO, and obviously designed to secure confirmation of Zurab Pololikashviland for a second General Assembly term

The event is clearly designed, so Ambassadors won’t ask questions or support a secret vote at the General Assembly. Hopefully, a guest list will leak.

The Madrid Venue is the Ritz:

Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid is a luxury Belle Époque palace located in the famous Golden Triangle of Art of Madrid. For over 110 years, the hotel has hosted royalty, dignitaries, and some of the most distinguished guests from around the world. This spectacular property is the epitome of luxury and excellence. 

Having the UNWTO General Assembly moved from Morocco to Madrid at the last minute it is expected that the majority of countries attending the assembly will be represented by ambassadors based in Madrid.

This is a clear and calculated advantage for Zurab to secure his reconfirmation vote. Zurab was the ambassador for the Republic of Georgia in Madrid for several years and knows his way around in the diplomatic community.

He already made participation by tourism ministers difficult and expensive. Those countries with embassies in Spain will most likely send the ambassadors, many other countries are not expected to participate at all.

The Advantage for Ambassadors to vote instead of tourism ministers

Ambassadors are a lot easier to be convinced by the Secretary-General. Zurab needs to avoid a secret vote request to secure his re-appointment.

He needs to have a majority of 2/3 of the attending member countries voting for his re-confirmation.

One wonders how many member states, hardly able to pay their contributions and desperate for meaningful assistance from a UN agency, will stomach such extravagant acts.

Zurab loves to entertain, and it has always worked for him.

A night before the Executive Council voted for his re-election in Madrid and in a top-secret move by the World Tourism Organization, a dinner designed to bribe 34 countries was added to the official UNWTO Election program in January 2021.

Spanish celebrity chef Dani García will prepare the bribery dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel in Madrid paid for and attended by the Foreign Minister of Georgia.

This made the only candidate competing with Zurab very upset and caused eyebrows everywhere. The competing candidate from Bahrain did not attend the dinner.

In 2017 the dinner was replaced by inviting voting delegates to a sold-out football game, courtesy by the Georgian embassy in Madrid.

Reference articles:

As always, eTurboNews tried to confirm with UNWTO, but no response was received. Bon Apetit!

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