Passport of a Special Representative of the UN Secretary General

Passport of a Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General

Usually, I do not collect documents by purpose because its bearer is/was famous or important but when I have the chance to grab such passport historical documents without big efforts, then, of course, I take my chance – and so it was here.

Passport of a Special Representative of the UN Secretary General

Meet Carolyn Mcaskie, who served as Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding from May 2006 to August 2008 under Kofi Annan, heading up the office created to support the newly formed Peacebuilding Commission of the United Nations. Prior to that, she served as Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Peacekeeping Operation in Burundi from June 2004 to April 2006. Her previous appointment (1999-2004) was Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator at the UN Secretariat in New York, serving as Emergency Relief Coordinator a.i., for the period 1999 to January 2001.

Prior to her appointment with the United Nations, Carolyn McAskie had a career with the Federal Government of Canada, in the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). She served as Vice-President for Africa and the Middle East Programs and Vice-President of CIDA’s Multilateral Programmes Branch, holding the rank of Assistant Deputy Minister from 1993 until 1999.

Earlier posts with CIDA include Director-General International Financial Institutions; Director-General, Multilateral Technical Cooperation (United Nations and Commonwealth Programmes); and in the Canadian High Commission in Kenya. She has also served in the Commonwealth Secretariat in London as Assistant Director of Finance and Personnel (1975-1980) and as Canadian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives (1986-1989).

Throughout her career, Carolyn McAskie has played a prominent role in multilateral negotiations as a Canadian delegate to the UN Funds and Programs and in the Governing Councils of the International Financial Institutions, including the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Global Environmental Facility. She served as a member of the Facilitation Team of the Burundi Peace Process in Arusha (1999) under the late Julius Nyerere, the former President of Tanzania, and as Humanitarian Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the humanitarian crisis in Cote d’Ivoire (2003).

Carolyn McAskie is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Director of Canadem and the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre. She is currently a Senior Fellow in the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and also a mentor of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.

Here passport is a Canadian document and not a UN passport and shows her fast travels including a US visa as SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE to the UN SECRETARY-GENERAL in Burundi, going to New York on official business at the UN HEADQUARTERS. The visa type is G4 which is an indication for employees of international organizations and members of their immediate families. Officers and employees of international organizations are considered “principals” while their family members are considered “dependents.”

Passport of a Special Representative of the UN Secretary General


Another visa in her passport was “Canceled Without Prejudice”. Was does it means? The rule book says: Cancelled Without Prejudice: A stamp a U.S. Embassy or Consulate puts on a visa when there is a mistake in the visa or the visa is a duplicate visa (two of the same kind). It does not affect the validity of other visas in the passport. … Your prior visa should be canceled without prejudice.”




FAQ Passport History
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1. What are the earliest known examples of passports, and how have they evolved?

The word "passport" came up only in the mid 15th Century. Before that, such documents were safe conducts, recommendations or protection letters. On a practical aspect, the earliest passport I have seen was from the mid 16th Century. Read more...

2. Are there any notable historical figures or personalities whose passports are highly sought after by collectors?

Every collector is doing well to define his collection focus, and yes, there are collectors looking for Celebrity passports and travel documents of historical figures like Winston Churchill, Brothers Grimm, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Read more...

3. How did passport designs and security features change throughout different periods in history, and what impact did these changes have on forgery prevention?

"Passports" before the 18th Century had a pure functional character. Security features were, in the best case, a watermark and a wax seal. Forgery, back then, was not an issue like it is nowadays. Only from the 1980s on, security features became a thing. A state-of-the-art passport nowadays has dozens of security features - visible and invisible. Some are known only by the security document printer itself. Read more...

4. What are some of the rarest and most valuable historical passports that have ever been sold or auctioned?

Lou Gehrig, Victor Tsoi, Marilyn Monroe, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein when it comes to the most expensive ones. Read more...

5. How do diplomatic passports differ from regular passports, and what makes them significant to collectors?

Such documents were often held by officials in high ranks, like ambassadors, consuls or special envoys. Furthermore, these travel documents are often frequently traveled. Hence, they hold a tapestry of stamps or visas. Partly from unusual places.

6. Can you provide insights into the stories behind specific historical passports that offer unique insights into past travel and migration trends?

A passport tells the story of its bearer and these stories can be everything - surprising, sad, vivid. Isabella Bird and her travels (1831-1904) or Mary Kingsley, a fearless Lady explorer.

7. What role did passports play during significant historical events, such as wartime travel restrictions or international treaties?

During war, a passport could have been a matter of life or death. Especially, when we are looking into WWII and the Holocaust. And yes, during that time, passports and similar documents were often forged to escape and save lives. Example...

8. How has the emergence of digital passports and biometric identification impacted the world of passport collecting?

Current modern passports having now often a sparkling, flashy design. This has mainly two reasons. 1. Improved security and 2. Displaying a countries' heritage, icons, and important figures or achievements. I can fully understand that those modern documents are wanted, especially by younger collectors.

9. Are there any specialized collections of passports, such as those from a specific country, era, or distinguished individuals?

Yes, the University of Western Sidney Library has e.g. a passport collection of the former prime minister Hon Edward Gough Whitlam and his wife Margaret. They are all diplomatic passports and I had the pleasure to apprise them. I hold e.g. a collection of almost all types of the German Empire passports (only 2 types are still missing). Also, my East German passport collection is quite extensive with pretty rare passport types.

10. Where can passport collectors find reliable resources and reputable sellers to expand their collection and learn more about passport history?

A good start is eBay, Delcampe, flea markets, garage or estate sales. The more significant travel documents you probably find at the classic auction houses. Sometimes I also offer documents from my archive/collection. See offers... As you are already here, you surely found a great source on the topic 😉

Other great sources are: Scottish Passports, The Nansen passport, The secret lives of diplomatic couriers

11. Is vintage passport collecting legal? What are the regulations and considerations collectors should know when acquiring historical passports?

First, it's important to stress that each country has its own laws when it comes to passports. Collecting old vintage passports for historical or educational reasons is safe and legal, or at least tolerated. More details on the legal aspects are here...

Does this article spark your curiosity about passport collecting and the history of passports? With this valuable information, you have a good basis to start your own passport collection.

Question? Contact me...