Middle East

Bird flu mutation in Egypt has not increased transmissibility between humans, UN says

Despite two cases of genetic mutation in bird flu in Egypt that moderately reduced the effectiveness of oseltamivir, the most strongly recommended drug, the United Nations health agency is not changing its recommendation because the level of resistance is not yet well established and the virus has not become more easily transmissible between humans.

Iraq: after university bombing, UNESCO urges Government to defend right to education

The United Nations agency entrusted with protecting the right to education today called on the Iraqi Government to do all in its power to stop the campaign of violence being waged against academics and intellectuals as typified by Tuesday’s bombing at a Baghdad university, which killed and injured scores of students and staff.

Two new Force Commanders to head UN missions in Golan Heights and Lebanon

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has named two generals with United Nations peacekeeping experience as the new Force Commanders for the world body’s operations in the Golan Heights and Lebanon.

Iraq: UN envoy calls on authorities to seize those responsible for deadly university blast

The top United Nations envoy to Iraq today called on the authorities to apprehend those responsible for Tuesday’s “heinous” bombing at Baghdad’s Mustansiriya University, which killed and injured dozens of people, many of them students and staff.

Over 34,000 civilians killed in Iraq in 2006, says UN report on rights violations

Nearly 6,400 Iraqi civilians were killed in the November-December period, slightly less than in the preceding two months, as rampant and indiscriminate killings, sectarian violence, extra-judicial executions – and impunity for the perpetrators – continued virtually unchecked, according to the latest United Nations rights report released today.

Iraq: UN human rights chief expresses regret at hanging of Saddam’s co-defendants

The top United Nations human rights official has voiced regret over today’s execution in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, of the two co-defendants of former president Saddam Hussein.

Lebanon: UN denies media reports of Israeli incursion

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Lebanon today denied media reports claiming that the Israeli military forces recently carried out an incursion over the Blue Line separating the two countries.

UN experts call on Iran not to execute Iranian Arabs after ‘grossly unfair trial’

Three independent United Nations human rights experts have called on Iran to stop the imminent execution of seven Iranian Arab dissidents on charges of “being at war with God,” citing allegations of torture and “trials that made a mockery of due process.”

Iraqi journalists and officials rally for freer Iraqi media at UN-backed conference

Iraqi journalists, parliamentarians and government officials have united to call for the protection and promotion of a free and pluralistic media at a conference held at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris.

Iraq: Ban Ki-moon says UN will work with Government and partners to promote stability

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said the United Nations will work with the Baghdad Government and key partners to promote stability in Iraq, while continuing efforts to facilitate the political process to the full extent possible within prevailing security constraints.