He has killed scores of his own citizens and political opponents. He has devastated a nation, reducing it to unspeakable poverty while he and his family live in unrivaled luxury. He has denied everyone in his country every basic right and liberty. He has turned Zimbabwe into a pariah nation. And now Robert Mugabe is the newest ambassador for tourism for the United Nations. He will now work with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) which appears interested in enlisting the help of dictators on vacation.
The United Nations is infamous for its absurd contradictions like Libya using the Human Rights Council to denounce homosexuals or Iran put on the United Nation’s Women Rights Commission. However, the selection of Mugabe is an affront to humanity since he should have been arrested and tried for human rights violations years ago.
Mugabe will join Drew Barrymore, David Beckham, Orlando Bloom, and Ricky Martin as the ambassadors for the United Nations. I cannot understand why those celebrities have not refused the ambassadorships rather than be associated with one of humanity’s greater war criminals.
Ironically, Mugabe, 88, is under a travel ban. However, if he cannot visit other countries, he still wants people to come and visit Zimbabwe with its killing fields and abject poverty.
UNWTO is trying to fend off the international outrage over the selection. Despite the selection of the other celebrities and common use of the term ambassador, UNWTO is trying to downplay the significance of the letter sent to Mugabe by insisting that it is not 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.”
Really? Mugabe was included with a small number of celebrities to help support tourism around the world. The UNWTO should not be enlisting the help of war criminals for any purpose. The only letter to Mugabe should be the announcement of a war crimes tribunal and an invitation to be an honored guest behind the defense table.