|Canada’s UNWTO pullout reasons false|
|Wednesday, 13 June 2012 15:09|
Takunda Maodza Senior Reporter
UNWTO last month during the signing of a trilateral agreement for the co-hosting of the general assembly in Victoria Falls next year.
Canada also owed the UNTWO close to US$400 000 in overdue subscriptions.
Facts on the grounds, however, show Canada had long ceased to be a UNTWO member when it made the announcement.
Analysts believe the North American state was only trying to be mischievous in citing President Mugabe’s appointment as the reason for its withdrawal.
A reliable Government source told The Herald yesterday that “Canada was making cheap political mileage”.
According to UNTWO statutes, withdrawal is effective one year after the formal notice and this means Canada’s pullout was effective on May 12, 2012 — 18 days before Minister Baird announced his country’s pullout.
“The UNTWO wondered how its recognition of President Mugabe had played into Canada’s withdrawal when the country had already withdrawn its membership as a matter of fact,” added the source.
He confirmed that Canada had given its notice a year ago, but “the final step in that withdrawal process required an order-in-council, which Minister Baird signed after hearing the news of the appointment of President Mugabe”.
Canada owed about US$388 000 in yearly dues to UNTWO in 2011 and is one of the highest paying members.
Zimbabwe has since dismissed the withdrawal as a non-event with Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi earlier this month saying the decision will not affect progress made so far in Zimbabwe and Zambia.