UN says US visa ban does not affect its employees

AFP , Monday 30 Jan 2017

The United Nations has received assurances from Washington that its employees from Muslim countries hit by the US visa ban will be able to travel to New York to work at UN headquarters, the spokesman said Monday.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric initially told a briefing that there were a handful of staff who were unable to board US-bound flights at the weekend.

The spokesman later clarified that there were no confirmed cases of UN staff member being affected by the new policies.

US President Donald Trump on Friday signed an executive order suspending all visa applications from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen for at least 90 days.

Some UN employees from the blacklisted countries have G4 visas, which are issued to staff of international organizations -- a class of visas that was deemed exempt in the order.

"We have gotten assurances from the US mission that UN staff members from those seven countries listed, who have valid G4 visas, will be allowed to come in the United States for their work," Dujarric said.
The United Nations has said it hopes the visa ban will be temporary, but has not urged Trump to reverse course.

"Obviously we have seen the confusion that has taken place over the last few days, and it's clear that it's of concern to us," said Dujarric.

UN rights chief Zeid bin Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein called the ban illegal and mean-spirited, issuing the toughest response from the United Nations.

Short link: