House Foreign Affairs Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman
For IMMEDIATE Release – May 29, 2012
As UN Tourism Body Honors Mugabe, Ros-Lehtinen Says: “Enough is Enough”, UN Must Stop Aiding Dictators
(WASHINGTON) –U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement regarding reports that Robert Mugabe, the President of Zimbabwe, has been granted a tourism envoy role by the United Nations World Tourism Organization. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“The UN has hit a new low with the naming of Mugabe as a UN tourism envoy, as if North Korea chairing the Conference on Disarmament and Cuba serving as vice president of the Human Rights Council had not been enough.
“The UN’s legitimization of brutal dictators is a disgrace. Mugabe’s terrible human rights record and intentionally-ruinous economic policies have made him the subject of U.S. and EU sanctions—including a travel ban. This UN honor for Mugabe comes just days after the newly reappointed, anti-Israel, anti-Western UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called for the lifting of international sanctions on Zimbabwe.
“The continued rewards the UN bestows upon the world’s dictators has reached the point of absurd. An organization devoted to world peace and stability is propping up and aiding the very regimes that oppose such ideals. Enough is enough. We need real UN reform with real consequences for these outrages.”
NOTE: Ros-Lehtinen is the author of H.R. 2829, the United Nations Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act of 2011, which requires the United Nations to switch its funding mechanism from an assessed basis to a voluntary basis. This shift will empower the U.S. and other member-states to use their strongest leverage at the UN – their monetary contributions – to press for badly needed reform. The voluntary funding structure will also allow the U.S. and others to prevent their contributions from funding discredited organizations and initiatives, such as the Human Rights Council, which undermine their own foreign policy goals. The legislation also includes provisions restricting U.S. participation on the Human Rights Council and withholding funding to the UN proportionate to what is allocated for Council activities. This legislation enjoys the support of over 140 cosponsors, and was marked up and reported favorably by the House Foreign Affairs Committee last year.