UN Authority Figures

U.N. Development Programme Executive Board President: Iran

Iranian reporter Maryam Malek was arrested and charged with proganda against the state. She spent 5 days in prison. (International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, April 27, 2009)

Mission of the U.N. Development Programme: "UNDP is the UN's global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners. World leaders have pledged to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, including the overarching goal of cutting poverty in half by 2015. UNDP's network links and coordinates global and national efforts to reach these Goals. Our focus is helping countries build and share solutions to the challenges of: Democratic Governance...UNDP helps developing countries attract and use aid effectively. In all our activities, we encourage the protection of human rights and the empowerment of women." (U.N. Development Programme web-site, "About UNDP")

Term of office: 2009

Iran's Record on democratic governance, the protection of human rights and the empowerment of women:
"The government...continued to commit numerous serious abuses. The government severely limited citizens' right to change their government peacefully through free and fair elections. The government executed numerous persons for criminal convictions as juveniles and after unfair trials. Security forces were implicated in custodial deaths and committed other acts of politically motivated violence, including torture. The government administered severe officially sanctioned punishments, including death by stoning, amputation, and flogging. Vigilante groups with ties to the government committed acts of violence. Prison conditions remained poor. Security forces arbitrarily arrested and detained individuals, often holding them incommunicado. Authorities held political prisoners and intensified a crackdown against women's rights reformers, ethnic minority rights activists, student activists, and religious minorities. There was a lack of judicial independence and fair public trials. The government severely restricted civil liberties, including freedoms of speech, expression, assembly, association, movement, and privacy, and it placed severe restrictions on freedom of religion. Official corruption and a lack of government transparency persisted. Violence and legal and societal discrimination against women, ethnic and religious minorities, and homosexuals; trafficking in persons; and incitement to anti-Semitism remained problems. The government severely restricted workers' rights, including freedom of association and the right to organize and bargain collectively, and arrested numerous union organizers. Child labor remained a serious problem....Spousal rape is not illegal...Domestic violence was not specifically prohibited by law...Women have the right to divorce only if the husband signs a contract granting that right...The testimony of two women is equal to that of one man...Women must ride in a reserved section on public buses and enter public buildings, universities, and airports through separate entrances. (US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2008, Iran)