The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is convening an emergency session of its Executive Council in Madrid today (March 8) in response to the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation.
The move follows requests from Guatemala, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia and Ukraine for the suspension of the Russian Federation from membership of UNWTO.
As a result, and in accordance with Rule 3.4 of the Council’s Rules of Procedure, the UNWTO Secretary-General has called for an emergency session of the Executive Council to address the matter; with the decision being made following consultations between the Secretary-General and the Chair of the Executive Council (Côte d´Ivoire).
The in-person Council session that will be held on March 8 in Madrid marks the first time in the Organization’s history that the Executive Council will address a request of this type.
Article 3 of the UNWTO Statutes states that the fundamental principles of the Organization are 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.”
UNWTO has unequivocally condemned the actions of the Russian Federation, noting that they are a clear breach of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity and contrary to the principles enshrined in the UN Charter and UNWTO Statutes.