Middle East

Lebanon tribunal set to begin work next week, says UN report

The international tribunal being set up to try those responsible for political killings in Lebanon is ready to begin its work next week, says a new United Nations report released today.

Successful Iraqi elections cause for optimism, UN envoy tells Security Council

Recent peaceful and “remarkable” polls are a crucial step in Iraq’s recovery process, the top United Nations envoy to the strife-torn nation told the Security Council today, paying tribute to the Iraqi people for their commitment to democracy.

Gaza: UN agencies mete out cash for shelter

Gazans whose homes were damaged or destroyed in the Israeli offensive that ended last month have, to date, received more than $7 million in cash from United Nations agencies in a distribution that began last week.

Newly-elected officials must work constructively for Iraqis, Ban says

Calling recent polls in Iraq “an important turning point” for the strife-torn country, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urges the newly-elected provincial officials to work together to improve the lives of Iraqis, in a report released today.

Head of UN aid agency ‘extremely pleased’ over Gaza visit of US pols

The Gaza visits of three United States legislators were a sign of change that could improve the situation on the ground in the war-torn territory, the chief of the United Nations agency responsible for the welfare of Palestinian refugees said today.

Top UN envoy urges greater international efforts to achieve durable Gaza ceasefire

The top United Nations envoy to the Middle East today urged the international community to redouble its efforts to help achieve a permanent and durable ceasefire in Gaza, warning that anything less is unsustainable and could lead to more violence.

Jordan’s Queen praises UN’s vital lifeline for Gaza

Queen Rania of Jordan today urged all donors to honour their pledges to the United Nations agency responsible for helping millions of Palestinians amid warnings that a shortfall could force it to stop paying thousands of staff such as teachers and doctors.

Ban 'appalled' at latest attack targeting Iraqi pilgrims

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the suicide bomb attack against Shi'a pilgrims near Baghdad today, and recent similar attacks targeting innocent civilians which have left dozens of people dead and wounded, including many women and children.

UN chief expresses 'sorrow' on fourth anniversary of Hariri murder

On the fourth anniversary of the massive car bomb blast that killed Lebanon's former prime minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed his sorrow to the Lebanese people over the tragic loss of a man who stood strongly for the independence and sovereignty of his country.

Security Council renews call for greater humanitarian access to Gaza

The United Nations Security Council again voiced deep concern today about the humanitarian situation in Gaza following Israel’s military offensive against Hamas and stressed “the importance and urgency that more needs to be done.”