Minutes ago UNWTO Secretary-GeneraL Zurab Polikashvili announced in a tweet that Russia announced its intention to withdraw from the World Tourism Organization.
UNWTO was the first UN agency to address the membership of the Russian Federation.
Polikashvili tweeted: UNWTO statues are clear. Promotion of Tourism for peace and universal respect of human rights. Only members that abide by this can be part of UNWTO
The “Scream” campaign by the World Tourism Network had pushed for Russia to not be allowed to continue its membership in UNWTO. An extraordinary Executive Committee debated expelling Russia, and this decision is pending before the next General assembly.
In an unexpected move, Russia finally admits there is no chance the UNWTO members would endorse its aggression and war against Ukraine. Instead of being forced, Russia is taking the face-saving way indicating: We know, and we leave.”
Mariana Oleskiv , director of the State Agency of Tourism in Ukraine, and Ivan Liptuga, co-founder of the WTN scream.travel campaign, and head of the National Tourism Organization of Ukraine had been outspoken to oust Russia from the World Tourism Organization.
Mariana Oleskiv said:
“Russia put hysterics on the Extraordinary General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization of the UN.
Wanting to “save face” and avoid public embarrassment in connection with the individual consideration of the suspending membership of the Russian Federation in the UN, the official delegation of the aggressor state decided to act on prejudice and first stated its intention to leave the warehouse of WTO.
“Tourism is not about politics and territorial integrity,” said a Moscow representative, after which the whole delegation left the meeting.
However, the scenario desired for Russia is unlikely to work – such a procedure is difficult and can last up to a year. Instead, the procedure to stop membership is quick and immediate – enough votes of the members of the Genassembly, which is scheduled for the near future
“Exception from members is effective immediately! The Extraordinary General Assembly of the UN will continue. Members will be speaking out through a democratic vote,” a statement said World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
The world supports Ukraine!
UPD. For some reason, the post on the official UNWTO Facebook account is not available at this moment. He may have become a target for a mass attack by the rashist bots. Keeping an eye on the agony.”
World Tourism Network
On February 27, Juergen Steinmetz, chairman of WTN said: “The World Tourism Network applauded UNWTO for its move and said: “UNWTO recognized its special responsibility as tourism is seen as the Guardian for World Peace. We applaud the move by the Secretary-General to agree with the World Tourism Network and the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism, along with the World Association for Hospitality and Tourism Education Training, in our call for tourism leaders to speak with one voice on this issue.
“Expelling Russia from UNWTO is one strong symbolic option. After all, UNWTO represents the Public Sector. Therefore we applaud this gesture by the Secretary-General. As a private-sector network, however, the World Tourism Network is seeking communication with everyone.”
Russia leaving UNWTO is a clear indication by the Russian Federation to the world that may echo far beyond travel and tourism. Russia knows, and this is the first open and public declaration the largest country in the world understands its aggression.