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NEW YORK (AFP) – Human Rights Watch welcomed the resignation of US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Monday, saying it hoped his departure would lead to a probe into US policies for detaining terrorist suspects. 

"The most important responsibility of the attorney general is to say no when government officials — including the president — are tempted to cross legal boundaries," said Ken Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch.

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TEHRAN, Aug. 25) Agencies) – Iran will host the Non-Aligned Movement meeting on “human rights and cultural diversity” on September 3-4. 

The conference will be held at foreign ministerial level at the IRIB international hall. 

Organizers say the meeting will enhance the share of the NAM members in international interactions especially on subjects such as human rights and cultural diversity.

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23 August 2007With new diseases emerging at an unprecedented rate in an increasingly interconnected world, often with the ability to cross borders rapidly, global public health security depends on international cooperation and surveillance more than at any previous time in history, the United Nations health agency warned in its annual report today.

“Given today’s universal vulnerability to these threats, better security calls for global solidarity,” UN World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan said in releasing this year’s World Health Report, entitled “A safer future: global public health security in the 21st century.”

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24 August 2007 – More than 180 young people from 85 countries will meet in Germany from 26 to 30 August in a United Nations-sponsored conference to discuss the ways in which technology can be used to promote environmental protection.

UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner expressed the hope that on the bases of discussions at the conference, the participants will return to their countries and become beacons of activities and also motivators for many others to play a part in addressing environmental challenges.

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21 August 2007 – A senior United Nations official in the Middle East today voiced concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation inside the Gaza Strip, where the closure of border crossings and other restrictions have cut exports and forced factories to shut, leaving tens of thousands of Palestinians without jobs or income.

Kevin Kennedy, the Deputy UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, said in a statement that while the basic humanitarian needs of Gaza’s estimated population of 1.4 million people are largely being met, the conditions remain very difficult.

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GAZA CITY (Agencies) The European Union said it will resume financing fuel deliveries to the Gaza Strip’s sole power plant on Wednesday, (22/8/2007) after five days of blackouts in the impoverished Palestinian territory.

he EU decision came in the wake of warnings by Human Rights bodies in the Strip including al-Mizan Human Rights Centre of catastrophe in Gaza if the blackout continued. Al-Mizan particularly singled out Medical Services and sanitation as the worst hit departments in the Gaza Strip. 

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17 August 2007 – The United Nations humanitarian chief today welcomed the recent appointment of a special envoy tasked with ensuring there is more effective coordination between UN relief efforts and those of governments and aid groups in the Middle East and North Africa.
Abdulaziz bin Mohamed Arrukban of Saudi Arabia became the Secretary-General’s Special Humanitarian Envoy on 10 July, with a special focus on building partnerships for disaster response. His initial appointment is for one year.

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17 August 2007 – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has launched a new $1.3 million three-month operation to aid 36,000 people displaced by fighting in north-west Yemen, cautioning that the number of those assisted could rise once security constraints are lifted and the area is fully accessible.

“Our assessment of the humanitarian situation indicated that food assistance must continue,” WFP country representative Mohamed El Kouhene said after approval of the new programme yesterday for the Sa’ada Governorate.

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