Middle East

UN Palestinian refugee agency seeks $1.1 billion over five years

The main United Nations agency helping Palestinian refugees today presented a $1.1-billion blueprint to improve the life chances of 4 million Palestinians and enhance their ability to support themselves over five years.

Annan denounces Iraqi terror attack as seeking to undermine peace and democracy

Condemning the latest terrorist attack in Iraq as "a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law" that seeks to undermine the prospects of peace, democracy and prosperity, Secretary-General Kofi Annan vowed today that the United Nations will continue to stand by the Iraqi people as they try to rebuild their country.

UN team starts probe into assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister

The United Nations Mission of Inquiry into last week's assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri began its work today with a meeting with top local officials and a pledge to work "with absolute impartiality and professionalism."

Annan heads to London next week on a visit headlined by Middle East situation

The situation in the Middle East dominates the agenda of a day-long visit to London next Tuesday by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, his second trip to the British capital in a month.

Secretary-General condemns suicide attack in Tel Aviv

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today condemned “in the strongest possible terms” this evening's suicide bomb attack in Tel Aviv.

UN Palestinian refugee agency receives record $500 million in donations for 2004

The main United Nations agency helping Palestinian refugees received the most donations for a single year in its 55-year history in 2004 – more than $502 million – it announced today. But more is still needed for its continuing operations, including health, education, relief and social services and micro-credit programmes.

No respite for top UN envoy in Iraq as he seeks political inclusiveness

Continuing his talks across the full political spectrum of Iraqi politics, the top United Nations envoy in the country today met with the man who had previously sought to be candidate for prime minister of the coalition that won a majority in national elections last month.

Top UN envoy meets with man who could be Iraq's new prime minister

The top United Nations envoy to Iraq today met with the man who could be the country's next Prime Minister to discuss political developments in Iraq ahead of the convening of the new Transitional National Assembly and the world body's role in supporting the political process following last month's elections.

UN emergency teams on ground in earthquake-stricken Iranian region

Emergency United Nations teams are in southwest Iran discussing with the country's authorities the need for international assistance after an earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter killed at least 430 people and injured 900 others yesterday.

Suspended ex-chief of UN Oil-for-Food seeks more time to answer charges

Benon Sevan, the former head of the United Nations Office of the Iraq Programme (OIP) who was suspended following reports of impropriety in connection with the Oil-for-Food scheme, has asked for more time to answer the administrative charges against him, a UN spokesman reported today.