Will UNWTO suspend Russia’s membership?

MADRID, 4 March 2022: The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) will convene an emergency session of its Executive Council to consider calls for the Russian Federation’s membership to be suspended following the invasion of Ukraine.

The in-person council session will be held on 8 March in Madrid. It was scheduled after representatives of Guatemala, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, and Ukraine called for the suspension of the Russian Federation last Thursday.

 A media statement from the UNWTO confirmed 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.

UNWTO said it was the first time in the organisation’s 47 years that member states have asked the executive council to consider a country suspension.

Article 3 of the UNWTO Statutes states that the fundamental principles of the organisation are the “promotion and development of tourism to contribute 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.