A report prepared at the behest of outgoing UN Human Rights Commissioner Louise Arbour found that women face discrimination around the world. For example, 53 nations don't recognize rape within marriage as a crime.
After a four-year tenure marked by divisive controversy and much praise, Canadian judge Louise Arbour left her post Monday as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Arbour routinely singled out governments -- including the U.S., Israel, China and Russia -- for fierce criticism, drawing praise from human rights advocates and attacks from government offices.
The United Nations' International Maritime Organization agreed at its London meeting that ended Friday to impose new, strict limits on ships' fuel pollutants. A key goal of the action by the global maritime body is to significantly reduce harmful sulphur dioxide emissions by 2015.
Last week, representatives of indigenous peoples from 11 Latin American nations met in Brazil to discuss ways to influence regional governments to preserve tropical forests. The meeting produced a declaration that established the International Alliance of Forest Peoples.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said the humanitarian situation in the Darfur region of Sudan may be growing more dire, with attacks on civilian populations continuing. The situation in Darfur has produced more than 100,000 additional refugees just this year, Ban said, urging member nations to come through with contributions of troops and equipment -- especially much-needed helicopters -- for the peacekeeping effort.
Whether it's cluster bombs, cruise missiles or submarines, China the last several years has been significantly modernizing its military. The growing power of China's armed forces is creating new uncertainties for the U.S., NPR reports.