The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has convened an emergency session of its Executive Council in response to the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation. The session will be held in Madrid on 8 March.
Following the request of Guatemala, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia and Ukraine for the suspension of the Russian Federation from membership of UNWTO, the UNWTO Secretary-General has called for an emergency session of the Executive Council to address the matter, in accordance with Rule 3.4 of the Council’s Rules of Procedure. The decision was made following consultations between the Secretary-General and the Chair of the Executive Council (Côte d´Ivoire).
The in-person Council session will be held on 8 March in Madrid. It is 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.
Other tourism organisations stand with Ukraine
Last Friday the European Travel Commission has issued a statement condemning the military aggression by the Russian Federation and expressing solidarity with the people of Ukraine. “Travel is a force of peace towards a better future, and no aggression should stop it. European destinations remain safe to travel to,” reads the statement.
The European Cities Marketing (ECM) has decided to suspend membership from Russian cities to ECM until further notice. “We express solidarity to Ukraine, our Ukrainian members cities and their neighbouring countries helping the flows of refugees, and we send our appreciation to Russians supporting peace in these dark times,” said Petra Stušek, ECM President.