UNWTO suspends Russian Federation, effective immediately

UNWTO suspends Russian Federation, effective immediately

MADRID — The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has suspended the Russian Federation from its ranks, effective immediately.

Meeting for a first extraordinary UNWTO General Assembly, UNWTO members debated the suspension of Russia from the organization, as decided by the UNWTO Executive Council at its emergency meeting last month.

According to the UNWTO, the Russian delegation declined to step up and defend its position, and instead announced its withdrawal from UNWTO before the debate took place.

The Assembly voted in favor of suspension, far exceeding the two-third majority required. The decision is effective immediately, while voluntary withdrawal is only effective one year after a member submits an official communication through the appropriate channels.

“UNWTO’s Members have sent a clear message: Tourism is a pillar of peace and international friendship, and Members of UNWTO must uphold these values or face consequences, with no exceptions. This emergency General Assembly shows that Russia’s actions are indefensible and contrary to the very principles of UNWTO and of international governance,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.