President Mugabe is not a UN tourism ambassador

Firstly, there’s no such thing as a UNWTO “Tourism Ambassador”. If you’re confused about this, get your nose out The Herald and look it up.

Secondly, this rubbish all came from Walter Mzembi last week.

PRESIDENT Mugabe and his Zambian counterpart Michael Sata have been appointed United Nations international tourism ambassadors in recognition of the promotion and development of tourism. In an interview yesterday on the sidelines of the African Tourism Association congress, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter Mzembi, said the UN through the United Nations World Tourism Organisation will officially confer the status to the two presidents at a function to be held in Victoria Falls next week and officiated by the UNWTO secretary general Mr Talib Rifai.

So the function happened, it was indeed officiated at by the UNWTO SecGen, but no such “appointment” occured, even according to The Herald’s own report. What DID happen is this:

Dr Rifai then handed over to President Mugabe a special letter signed by all heads of state from UNWTO member countries. The letter was an acknowledgement of Zimbabwe and Zambia’s co-hosting of the assembly.

That’s a letter. Just a letter. Even if this is in line with the UNWTO’s Leaders for Tourism Campaign, there are no awards, appointments or conferments. Actually …

UNWTO and WTTC will present an Open Letter to Heads of State and Government worldwide, highlighting the importance of Travel and Tourism. In turn, Heads of State and Government will accept this letter in acknowledgement of the relevance of travel and tourism in facing today’s global challenges.

So, there. Calm down, all of you. Before you get hysterical, hyper-patriotic or hyper-pissed about something, JFGI*.

*Just fecking Google It.

3 Replies to “President Mugabe is not a UN tourism ambassador”

  1. The Guardian piece, which was spitting indignation and bile, has been quietly updated at the bottom to include.

    “UNWTO, which has headquarters in Madrid, insisted that it had not awarded Mugabe an official title. Sandra Carvao, its co-ordinator of communications, said: “Correct would be to say UNWTO has presented both presidents with an open letter which calls for them to support tourism as a means to foster sustainable development in their countries to the benefit of their people and consequently ask them to support the sector in this respect.”

    She added: “UNWTO does not have an ambassadors programme and the receiving of the UNWTO/WTTC [World Travel and Tourism Council] open letter implies no legal commitment or title attribution to the country or the head of state or government in question.”

  2. Oh I love news!

    They are in such a rush to break the news they don’t even bother checking the facts.

  3. And Canada is apparently leaving the UNWTO because of his appointment. Uhm, hello…

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