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SG/SM/20729
18 May 2021

Secretary-General, in Message for World Tourism Organization’s Sustainable Development Goals Competition, Spotlights Startups’ Potential for Fostering Positive Change

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message to the World Tourism Organization Sustainable Development Goals Global Startup Competition, in Madrid today:

We have less than 10 years to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  And we are in the midst of a global pandemic that is setting back progress.  To get back on track, we need to unleash the power of new ideas and embrace a sustainable transformation.

Tourism has a critical role to play, and I commend the United Nations World Tourism Organization for its leadership.  Its SDGs Global Startup Competition is promoting innovation and a better recovery.  The competition attracted more than 10,000 applicants from 138 countries, and the ideas are as diverse as the innovators themselves.

All these startups have the potential to be scaled up and drive a positive transformation in our societies.  They can inspire new ways to accelerate progress towards sustainability, equality and inclusivity.

I thank everyone who has taken part in the United Nations World Tourism Organization SDGs Global Startup Competition, and I look forward to seeing these bright ideas being put into action.

For information media. Not an official record.