The UNWTO Executive Council will convene an Extraordinary UNWTO General Assembly to consider the suspension of Russia’s membership on the basis of the latter’s invasion of Ukraine.
On March 8, at the request of several UNWTO members, the Executive Council met in Madrid amid ongoing global concern and condemnation for the unilateral actions of the Russian Federation.
UNWTO secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili said in a press statement: “War is never a solution! Not now, and not ever. But it is evident that not everybody is committed to this ideal.”
He added: “For this reason, UNWTO – and me as the voice of the organisation – must be loud and clear: if you are a member, then you commit to our rules. And you must embrace our values. So, when members go against our goals, there must be consequences.”
Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is inconsistent with the United Nations Charter and contravenes the fundamental aim of the UNWTO as enshrined in Article 3 of its Statutes, which states the “promotion and development of tourism with a view to contributing to economic development, international understanding, peace, prosperity and universal respect for, and observance of, human rights”, as the fundamental principles of the organisation.
As such, the UNWTO General Assembly alone has the sovereign responsibility to decide on the suspension of membership of any member state that goes against the Statutes.
UNWTO expressed its commitment to back the resolution of the UN General Assembly and the vote of the UN Human Rights Council demanding that Russia “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders”, reaffirming the paramount importance of the UN Charter in the promotion of law among nations.