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Canada's denial of visa to candidate for UN Secretary-General shows no respect for whole UN system

Helmut Scholz

Canada has failed to grant a visa to a candidate for the upcoming position of United Nations Secretary-General to attend the World Social Forum event this week.

Candidate Aminata Traoré, a high-profile anti-globalisation activist and a former minister for tourism and culture in Mali, was denied a visa to Canada, being told that her application did not meet the requirements without any further explanation.

Traoré, who has visited Canada several times before for similar events, is among a number of speakers and participants for the World Social Forum who were denied visas to attend the event held in Montreal this week.

German MEP, Helmut Scholz, who is a member of the European Parliament's United Nations Working Group and Shadow Rapporteur for the annual positioning of the EU in the United Nations General Assembly, sees the denial of a visa to a candidate for Secretary-General as "undermining efforts to strengthen the United Nations."

"MEPs of GUE/NGL, among other progressive politicians around the world, are working to strengthen and democratise the United Nations system and to deepen the responsibility of all member states in achieving this goal.

"When Canada – a country that enjoys a reputation of being free, open and democratic – denies a visa to a UN candidate, it damages the UN system as a whole.  

"This comes as a surprise from Canada, and as a disappointment to all those around the world who want to strengthen, and deepen trust, in the United Nations system."

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Konföderale Fraktion der Vereinten Europäischen Linken/Nordische Grüne Linke (GUE/NGL)