Tuesday, May 29, 2012

One learns something new every day ...

... and it is rarely pleasant. For instance, I did not know that there was a UN agency devoted to world tourism. I suppose I ought to have thought of it but I try not to pollute my mind with rubbish like that (try and fail, I may add).

According to The Foundry
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), created in 1970 and based in Madrid, identifies itself as the “United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.”
Well, that's quite bad enough but worse is yet to come.
It announced last year that Zambia and Zimbabwe jointly “won the bid” to host the 20th session of the UNWTO General Assembly in 2013. Zimbabwe’s president, Robert Mugabe, has been appointed a “United Nations international tourism ambassador” in recognition of the promotion and development of tourism.
Robert Mugabe? The President of a country he and his friends and relations manage to impoverish? Just how much tourism is there in Zimbabwe now despite its astonishing natural attractions? Michael Ross writes in the National Post:
For cognitive dissonance, see under: The United Nations. It’s no longer just a platform for countries with less-than-negligible human rights records to bash Israel and other democratic nations, or the dispatcher of envoys like Kofi Annan to Syria (under whose watch some 800,000 Rwandans were slaughtered) or the patronizing professional busy-body Olivier De Schutter, a Belgian “UN special rapporteur on the right to food,” to lecture Canada. The UN is now an expert on tourism to Africa and deciding who is best suited to promote it.
The UN just announced that its favourite African megalomaniac, Robert Mugabe, and his Zambian sidekick, Michael Sata, have been appointed United Nations international tourism ambassadors in recognition of the promotion and development of tourism. 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 this week and officiated by the UNWTO secretary general Mr Talib Rifai. The honour comes even though the European Union and U.S. have imposed travel bans on Mugabe and many of his senior government officials due to widespread human rights abuses.
In one way, we should be cheering decisions like this. After all, the more appalling, disgraceful decisions the UN makes, the more corruption and kow-towing to bloodthirsty kleptocrats there is, the more likely people are to perceive that the UN is long, long past its sell-by date. Nothing apart from total destruction will do. That is how it ought to work, but such is the mindlessness of our opinion makers and the general refusal to face up to facts with perfectly sane people bleating about the good ideas behind the UN that I do not think anything will make us wise up.

And proof that this is not a hoax.


  1. Gadaffi or not, Libya's presence on the UN Women scheme has always been abhorrent:


  2. And then there is North Korea in charge of nuclear disarmament. http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/06/29/north-korean-official-becomes-head-uns-nuclear-disarmament-group/