The Russian Federation has been suspended from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), losing its privileges and rights as a member of the United Nations specialized agency with immediate effect.
Members addressed the suspension of Russia from the Organization, as resolved by the UNWTO Executive Council at its emergency meeting last month, at the first special UNWTO General Assembly. The Russian delegation refused to defend its stance and instead announced its exit from UNWTO before the discussion.
The Assembly voted massively in favor of suspension, significantly exceeding the minimum two-thirds majority. The decision takes effect immediately, whereas voluntary withdrawal takes effect one year after a Member sends formal notice via the relevant means.
Tourism is a pillar of peace and international friendship, and Members of UNWTO must uphold these values or face consequences, with no exceptions.
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.”
The Russian Federation will no longer be able to exercise its rights or enjoy the benefits of UNWTO membership, effective immediately. This means that the Russian Federation will be unable to receive services from the Organization, including Technical Assistance, nor will it be able to participate in any UNWTO meetings or events, put forward any candidates to serve on UNWTO’s statutory bodies, vote in UNWTO organ elections, or propose a candidate to serve as Secretary-General.