Greek austerity measures could violate human rights, UN expert says

The United Nations independent expert on foreign debt and human rights warned today that the austerity measures and structural reforms proposed to solve Greece’s debt crisis may result in violations of the basic human rights of the country’s people, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reported.

Security Council extend terms of judges at UN tribunal for former Yugoslavia

The Security Council today extended the terms of judges serving on the United Nations tribunal created to try perpetrators of the worst crimes committed during conflicts in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s to ensure that the court is adequately staffed to complete its work.

Rural Azerbaijanis to receive boost from UN loan agreement

The United Nations agency tasked with helping efforts to overcome rural poverty announced today that it will give a loan of almost $20 million to Azerbaijan to fund a project aimed at generating income for farmers and boosting the country’s food security.

Citing excessive detention in Georgia, UN experts urge reform

A group of independent United Nations human rights experts has urged Georgian authorities to tackle problems in the country’s judiciary, warning of harsh sentences, a lack of bail and what they called an excessive use of detention.

Belarus: UN Human Rights Council condemns election-related violence

The United Nations Human Rights Council today voted to condemn human rights violations before, during and after the presidential elections in Belarus late last year and urged the Government to end what it described as the “persecution” of opposition leaders.

UN rights expert welcomes new French law on arrests by police

A United Nations human rights expert today welcomed the entry into force in France of a law that allows individuals the right to have a lawyer present at the time one is being taken into police custody or during interrogation.

Security Council extends mandate of UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus

The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Cyprus for another six months and urged the leadership of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities to accelerate the pace of talks aimed at reunification.

UNESCO chief pays tribute to late Spanish author and activist Jorge Semprún

The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) paid tribute to the late Jorge Semprún, a renowned Spanish author, screenwriter, political activist and long-time friend of the agency who died on Tuesday.

Outbreak of E. coli infections persists in Europe – UN agency

The outbreak of E. coli infections in Germany and 11 other countries has continued to spread, with more than 2,260 cases in total, including 22 deaths, reported, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) said in its latest update on the situation.

Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect refuses to enter plea at UN tribunal

Serbian war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic today appeared before the United Nations tribunal trying those responsible for the worst crimes committed during the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s but did not enter a plea on what he called the “monstrous” charges levelled against him.