UNWTO Members have made their voices heard and decided to suspend Russia from UNWTO membership.
The message is clear: Actions will always have consequences. Peace is a fundamental human right. Guaranteed to all. Without exception. pic.twitter.com/Bt4lkI7vbc
— Zurab Pololikashvili (@pololikashvili) April 27, 2022
UNWTO votes to suspend Russia’s membership over its invasion of Ukraine
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has voted to suspend Russia’s membership over its full-scale military operation against Ukraine with immediate effect on Wednesday in a largely symbolic move, shortly after Moscow said to the agency that it had made a plan to step out.
As per Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, a Georgian whose home nation was invaded by Russia in 2008, tweeted after the ballot, “The message is clear: Actions will always have consequences. Peace is a fundamental human right. Guaranteed to all. Without exception.”
Over two-thirds of UNWTO’s 160 member states have supported the resolution suspending Russia’s membership.
The vote had been scheduled long before Russia has made an announcement on its decision to leave the organisation, starting a process the UNWTO said would take a year to complete.
According to Spanish Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto, who presided over the special session of the Madrid-based body, “Russia’s invasion injures the founding principles of the United Nations and the values represented by tourism, such as peace, prosperity and universal respect.”
Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “The decision to quit the UNWTO, which provides technical support to promote tourism, would not affect the sector in Russia.”
He further said, “The tourism sector, especially domestic tourism, will continue its development. The external directions for tourism are also open, hinging on questions of competition in terms of quality and price.”
Earlier this month, the United Nations General Assembly(UNGA)) voted to suspend Russia from the United Nations Human Rights Council over reports of human rights abuses in Ukraine, prompting Moscow to declare it was quitting that body.
Russia, which refers to its actions in Ukraine as a “special military operation” to disarm Ukraine and protect it from fascists, has denied accusations of rights abuses. Ukraine and the West say Russia is waging an unprovoked war of aggression.