Middle East

December 5, 2013 
Recognizing that women in the Middle East and North Africa must play an active role in their countries’ political processes, especially amid the regional backdrop of upheavals and conflicts, the Netherlands government is providing money for a new program, Women on the Frontline, to help women-run initiatives organize themselves better to assert their rights …
September 28, 2013 
Fatou Bensouda, ICC prosecutor
The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor – Fatou Bensouda – was busy in New York this week, rallying support for the court on the sidelines of the 68th United Nations General Assembly annual debate. The Gambia native, who succeeded Luis Moreno-Ocampo, an Argentine, to head the  prosecutor’s office, talked exclusively to PassBlue about her …
September 16, 2013 
Secretary General receives report on chemical weapons use in Syria
The much-awaited report by the United Nations investigative mission on the use of chemical weapons in Syria on Aug. 21 in Ghouta has been handed over to the secretary-general by Ake Sellstrom, the head of the mission; it has not been released to the public yet by the UN but France put it online. …
September 3, 2013 
Ban Ki-moon
  In the daily unfolding drama behind the recent investigation by a United Nations team on the use of chemical weapons in Syria, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today that all biomedical and environmental samples gathered by the inspectors “at sites of possible chemical weapons use in Syria” will arrive at designated laboratories in …
July 4, 2013 
Mohamed ElBaradei
After a week of political jockeying involving Egypt’s interim president, Adly Mahmud Mansour, the country’s military and a radical Islamist party that refused to accept Mohamed ElBaradei as prime minister, the former head of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency was finally appointed deputy president for foreign affairs on July 9. In a …
May 8, 2013 
Syrian child in a Jordanian refugee camp
As the Syrian government increasingly resorts to using heavy armaments and long-distance aircraft — and possibly chemical weapons — to attack the opposition movement and other enemies, the risk of children being killed or maimed in the fighting has risen sharply, says the United Nations Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for …
February 28, 2013 
Children selling postcards in Petra, Jordan.
  Two years ago, commemorating International Domestic Workers Day on June 16, governments, labor unions and employers’ associations voted overwhelmingly to create global labor standards to help promote the rights of the 50 to 100 million domestic workers worldwide. The United Nations International Labor Organization, or ILO, adopted such a convention, No. 189, in …
December 23, 2012 
Young girls in Sierra Leone about to be circumcised
Only four days before Christmas, when many minds were fixated on the year-end holidays, two important steps were taken almost unnoticed to combat female genital mutilation globally, raising hopes that millions of girls might be spared the excruciatingly painful and harmful yet persistent practice. In what Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called “historic” UN action, the …

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