Following a vote by members of the UNWTO’s General Assembly, Russia has been suspended from the organisation and will lose its membership rights with immediate effect.
Members of the UNWTO General Assembly debated Russia’s suspension from the organisation, which was approved by the UNWTO Executive Council during an emergency meeting last month. Before the discussion, the Russian delegation refused to get up and explain its viewpoint, instead announcing its exit from the UNWTO.
The Assembly voted in favour of suspension, surpassing the minimum two-thirds majority. The decision takes effect right away, whereas voluntary withdrawal takes place one year after a member sends an official communication through the proper procedures.
Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, stated: “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.”
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, told reporters that Russia’s decision to leave the UNWTO will have no impact on the sector.
He added that the tourist sector, particularly domestic tourism, will continue to grow. The exterior directions for tourism are equally open, depending on concerns of quality and price competition.
In Madrid, a total of 99 countries were represented. All Members pledge to growing tourism with an aim to contributing to economic development, international understanding, peace, prosperity, and universal prospect for, and observance of, human rights, according to Article 3 of the Statutes.
The Russian Federation will not be able to use its UNWTO membership rights or benefits. This means the Russian Federation will not be able to receive services from the organisation, including technical assistance, nor will it be able to attend UNWTO meetings or events, nor will it be able to nominate candidates for UNWTO statutory bodies, vote in UNWTO elections, or propose a candidate for Secretary-General.
– India’s new age travel digital media