This Guardian story is claiming that a UN body has made Zimbabwean autocrat Robert Mugabe into a "leader for tourism". Such an honorific sounds like a terrible idea, and indeed, human rights groups and opposition members of Zimbabwe's besieged civil society are outraged, while supporters of Mugabe's ZANU-PF party are crowing. So I'm all set to be outraged.
But then at the very end of the article is a statement by the relevant UN body denying that it had appointed Mugabe to anything. The UNWTO instead issued an "open letter" to heads of states asking them to be "leaders for tourism". That letter "mplies no legal commitment or title attribution to the country or the head of state or government in question."
Now this doesn't quite settle things either -- it is unclear whether this letter was sent to every head of state, or just ones specifically selected by the UNWTO, and if the latter, how the selection process proceeded. But it seems at least possible that this really isn't any sort of official honoring of Mugabe by the UN, and I found the Guardian article particularly unhelpful in illuminating what, exactly, is going on here.