Canada quits UNWTO over Mugabe honour

Canada has formalised its withdrawal from the United Nations World Travel Organi­zation (UNWTO) in opposition to Zimba­bwe’s President Robert Mugabe being hon­oured as a ‘Leader of Tourism’.

Since selecting Zimbabwe and Zambia as co-hosts for the 2013 UNWTO General Assembly at Victoria Falls, Zambia, and in­viting both Mugabe and Zambian President Michael Sata to join the ‘Global Leaders for Tourism’ campaign, the UNWTO has faced international criticism for what many see as a legitimisation of Mugabe’s regime. The UNWTO disputes these accusations, point­ing out that Mugabe was not appointed to any formal position and that the invitation to join the campaign was sent to all heads of government.

Several Canadian newspapers have re­ported that Canada had signalled its inten­tion to leave the UNWTO a year ago; the correspondence between the organisation and Mugabe was considered the ‘last straw’ in the country’s participation.


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