Middle East

UN maritime force takes part in rescue after ship sinks off Lebanese coast

The United Nations maritime task force serving off the Lebanese coast is taking part in a search-and-rescue operation today to try to save the lives of the crew of a cargo ship that sank last night in rough seas.

Record number of people make perilous journey to Yemen, UN reports

Fleeing conflict, poverty and drought, more than 74,000 people – a record number – from the Horn of Africa risked their lives this year to make the treacherous journey across the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea to begin their lives anew in Yemen, the United Nations refugee agency said today.

Middle East peace efforts face race against time, UN envoy warns

Efforts to forge a Middle East peace are “in a race against time” with both sides needing to do more, Israel by fulfilling its commitments, including a settlement freeze, under an internationally endorsed plan for a two-State solution, and the Palestinians by resuming negotiations, a senior United Nations official warned today.

Security Council extends UN disengagement force on Israeli-Syrian front

The Security Council today renewed the 35-year-old United Nations mission observing the ceasefire between Israel and Syria on the Golan Heights for another six months, after Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called its presence “essential” due to overlying regional tensions despite calm on that particular front.

UN agency for Palestinian refugees seeks $323 million for 2010

The United Nations agency entrusted with assisting millions of Palestinian refugees has launched its 2010 appeal for over $323 million at a meeting of the 22-member League of Arab States in Cairo, with a focus on those people in Gaza and the West Bank who have been hit hardest by Israel’s closures and access restrictions.

International community must act against Israeli settlements – UN committee

A United Nations committee on Palestinian rights today called on the international community “to take urgent and decisive action against the continued illegal Israeli actions,” warning that Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory risk undermining the whole structure of international law.

Resumption of death penalty in Iraq sparks UN concern

The resumption of the death penalty in Iraq earlier this year is a source of great concern to the United Nations, according to the world body’s latest report covering the human rights situation in the country.

Attack on West Bank mosque draws condemnation from UN envoy

The senior United Nations envoy to the Middle East has condemned the burning and desecration of a mosque in the West Bank, describing the attack as part of a worrying wider pattern of violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians.

Iraq: Kurdish lawmakers confirm support for new electoral laws with UN envoy

The top United Nations envoy to Iraq met today with parliamentarians from the Kurdish Alliance Bloc to discuss the recently brokered electoral laws that allow for national elections expected to take place early next year.

Civilians continue fleeing clashes in northern Yemen, UN reports

Thousands of civilians continue to steam out of northern Yemen, where the clashes between Government forces and rebels enter their fifth month, the United Nations refugee agency reported today.