UK, Canada boycott UNWTO

VICTORIA FALLS - The United Kingdom and Canada have boycotted the United Nations World Tourism Organisation general assembly which opened in Victoria Falls on Monday, to protest gross human rights abuses and election rigging by President Robert Mugabe.

Major UK airlines, including British Airways and Virgin were notably absent from the exhibition area, and so were prominent travel agents from the two countries, such as Thomas Cook.

Conference officials confirmed no British or Canadian delegations were accredited.

Canada’s Foreign minister John Baird said last year that his country was dumping the conference amid concerns over human rights.

The UK followed suit this year.

The NGO UN Watch, which monitors UN activities, applauded the two countries for the move. UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer said holding the summit in Zimbabwe was a “misguided venture” and a “grossly inappropriate honour to Mugabe”.

“Amid reports of election rigging and ongoing human rights abuses, Zimbabwe is the last country that should be legitimised by a UN summit of any kind,” Neuer said.

“The government of Robert Mugabe has brutalised human rights activists, crushed democratic dissidents, and turned the breadbasket of Africa into a basket case.

“The notion that the UN should now spin this country as a lovely tourism destination is, frankly, sickening.”

UNWTO secretary-general Taleb Rifai on Monday justified the decision to hold the conference in troubled Zimbabwe, claiming there was “record attendance”.

Mugabe used his opening speech on Monday to attack Western countries, accusing them of monopolising tourism.

Comments (12)


BAMBO - 28 August 2013

well, unfortunately the show is going on without them

life goes on - 28 August 2013

we can always do our things her . ngavarege kuuya

smomo - 28 August 2013

We do not blame you Canada and UK for boycotting UNTWO because ZANU PF stole elections. We do not blame you for boycotting UNTWO because ZANU PF party members arrest innocent people like MDC T's party members Komichi and other political prisoners who are in prison on trumped up charges. ZANU PF murdered some MDC T party members in 2008 so ZANU PF are tyrants , so we do not blame you Canada and UK for boycotting UNTWO, we do not blame you for dancing with the devil ZANU PF.

Madadu - 28 August 2013


petere temera - 28 August 2013

The last sentence above is meant to read we do not blame you Canada and UK for not coming to UNTWO to dance with the devil ZANU PF.

Madadu - 28 August 2013

Too late the show must go on! Has Zimbabwe lost because the two have refused to come? Nope

Johnny Too Bad - 28 August 2013

the whole purpose of this unwto z 2 attract tourists specially 4 us so if these 2 major tourist exporters r absent then we surely hv lost 1 way o e other its biz n nt personal

UHURU - 28 August 2013

The feeling is mutual. The president does not like the town folk and the folks do not like him also. Solution please stay with those who love you in the rural areas esp Mash Central. They might enjoy irritating and dangerous sirens . See you Mr President when I visit my grandmother in the rural areas.

hateloveyou - 29 August 2013

Well good for the rest of the progressive world, and their boycott is a non event. They are not welcome at a gathering of normal nations, otherwise they will spoil the event.

reason - 29 August 2013

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