Middle East

UN voices concern over rift preventing patients leaving Gaza for treatment

United Nations agencies operating in the Gaza Strip have expressed serious concern over the halting of patients leaving the area for specialised hospital treatment after Hamas took control of the health department tasked with making referrals abroad.

Iraqi painters’ work showcased by UN refugee agency

The United Nations refugee agency is giving nearly two dozen Iraqi painters, most of whom are refugees, an opportunity to show their work and tell their stories to a wide audience.

UN-backed tribunal for Lebanon killings swears in officials, adopts rules

The United Nations-backed tribunal to try the perpetrators of a massive car bomb blast that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri has appointed its main officials and adopted rules of procedures and evidence, the court announced today.

Efforts to end current Gaza ‘impasse’ imperative – UN political chief

A top United Nations official today called for progress to be made in implementing a January Security Council resolution – which calls for a durable ceasefire in Gaza, free access for relief workers and the re-opening of crossings – to break the current impasse and lift the cloud of uncertainty hanging over the region.

UN envoy in Iraq condemns bomb attack on Kurdish mourners

The top United Nations envoy in Iraq today condemned “in the strongest terms” a suicide bomb attack that killed and injured dozens of people at a house filled with Kurdish funeral mourners yesterday.

Ban condemns Lebanon terrorist attack

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned today’s terrorist attack that killed Kamal Medhat, the deputy head of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Lebanon, and several of his bodyguards.

At least seven dead in latest smuggling tragedy off Yemeni coast – UN

At least seven Africans drowned over the weekend when the smugglers’ boat they were travelling in capsized shortly after docking in the Yemeni port of Aden, the United Nations refugee agency has reported, adding that 85 passengers survived thanks to rescue efforts by local officials and the French Navy.

Strategies to improve situation of Iraqi women aim of UN Baghdad forum

With the illiteracy rate among Iraqi women twice as high as that of men and women making up only 18 per cent of the country’s labour force, a United Nations conference that opened in Baghdad today is seeking ways to improve the situation of women in the fledgling democracy.

Greater access for goods and people into Gaza a must, stresses UN

The overall levels of humanitarian assistance allowed into Gaza remain below what is urgently required, the United Nations reports, adding that lengthy clearance procedures for aid workers are also hampering vital relief efforts.

First Iraqi family departs for resettlement in Germany, UN refugee agency says

Germany's plans to resettle 2,500 Iraqi refugees has begun with a young couple who flew out of Jordan with a son who needs urgent medical treatment for a heart defect, the United Nations refugee agency announced today.