India for global cooperation against terrorism

October 14th, 2008 - 8:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Ambika SoniNew Delhi, Oct 14 (IANS) Calling for international cooperation to meet the challenge of terrorism, India Tuesday said issuing travel advisories against individual countries was not a solution.“Terrorism has neither religion nor boundaries. In fact, no country can be said to be insulated against terrorism,” Tourism Minister Ambika Soni said Tuesday while addressing the 84th Session of the UNWTO Executive Council Meeting in Madrid.

According to a statement issued here, she said the challenge posed by terrorism could only be surmounted through international cooperation and collective action by the global community rather than by issuing travel advisories against individual countries.

India has seen a spate of terror attacks this year that has left hundreds dead and many more injured.

“Similarly, terrorism and cross-border crime are simply devastating all tourism prospects,” Soni, chairing the meet, said.

“But despite all adversity, there is an inherent hope that human enthusiasm and curiosity to venture out into unexplored terrains and experience different cultures and their scintillating dance, music, cuisine and shopping, will foster tourism activity,” she said.

The UNWTO serves as a global forum for tourism policy issues and promotes the development of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism, paying particular attention to the interests of developing countries.

The Executive Council is UNWTO’s governing board and it meets twice a year and is composed of 30 member countries.

Expressing concern over the global meltdown, the increasing oil costs, Soni said these factors had hit the tourism sector.

She pointed out that the tourism industry took a further knocking because of natural calamities such as floods and earthquake.

Soni, who is also culture minister, said there has been a global concern over climate change and its effects.

India is pursuing tourism growth on environmentally sustainable principles and practices, she said.

Keeping this in mind, she said, four regional thematic conferences will be held with participation of international and national stakeholders on responsible tourism and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate a national conference on responsible tourism Dec 9.

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