05/31/2012 10:27 EDT | Updated 07/31/2012 05:12 EDT

Canada quitting UN agency over Mugabe appointment

Canada is withdrawing from a United Nations body over the appointment of Robert Mugabe as a special tourism ambassador.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says the appointment of the Zimbabwean leader as international tourism ambassador symbolizes what is wrong with the UN.

Mugabe is currently under a European travel ban because of human rights abuses in his own country.

His appointment is being made by the United Nations World Tourism Office.

In the House of Commons Wednesday, Baird called the move outrageous, and announced that Canada will be withdrawing from the tourism office next month.

Mugabe has been in power for more than three decades and has been blamed for his country's economic ruin, resulting in food and fuel shortages, rampant inflation, high poverty and unemployment.