The Russian Federation was suspended on Wednesday from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), losing with immediate effect its rights and privileges as part of the United Nations specialized agency.
Meeting for a first extraordinary UNWTO General Assembly, Members debated the suspension of Russia from the Organization, as decided by the UNWTO Executive Council at its emergency meeting last month. 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 Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “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.”
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