Middle East

Polio outbreak in Yemen grows to 22 cases, UN health agency says

Yemen, polio-free since 1996, now has an outbreak of 22 confirmed cases, and low immunization rates among the children of the Red Sea country may help the spread of the paralyzing virus, the United Nations public health agency said today.

Annan appeals for end to violence in Iraq

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today urged an end to violence in Iraq, saying it was unfortunate that the designation of a new government coincided with the atrocities that took place earlier Friday.

UN electoral experts heading to Lebanon, Security Council told in briefing on Syrian troop pullout

The United Nations has been holding talks on assisting the Lebanese Government prepare for next month’s parliamentary elections and a team of electoral experts is due to arrive soon in Beirut, a top UN envoy told the Security Council today as he briefed on the situation following the pullout of Syrian troops from its smaller neighbour.

New Iraqi Government is important step in transition, says Annan

The United Nations today welcomed the formation of the new Iraqi Government as an important step in the country's democratic transition and reiterated its call for the participation of all sectors in the political process after Sunni Arabs stayed away from the recent elections that elected the transitional National Assembly.

Annan finds no grounds for disciplining former aide in Oil-for-Food probe

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has found that there is no ground for disciplinary action against his former Chef de Cabinet, Iqbal Riza, who was criticized by the independent committee probing alleged misconduct and mismanagement in the United Nations Oil-for-Food programme for Iraq for imprudently shredding documents.

UNESCO calls on all sides to protect journalists in Iraq after new deadly attack

Describing the number of media workers killed, injured or kidnapped in Iraq as “shocking,” the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has called for measures to improve the safety of journalists after a new attack brought the death toll to a reported 55 in the last two years.

With polio cluster in formerly virus-free Yemen, UN warns of risks of spread

Helping Yemen fight the first outbreak of polio in the Arabian Peninsula country in nine years, the United Nations health agency is warning that the risk of importation of the disease that once paralyzed hundreds of thousands of children worldwide each year remains as long as the virus exists anywhere on the planet.

Syrian Government informs UN of troop pullout

The Syrian Government has informed United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan by letter that it has withdrawn its troops from Lebanon, a UN spokesman said today.

UN military team set to leave for Lebanon today to verify Syrian withdrawal

Secretary-General Kofi Annan is dispatching a United Nations military team to Lebanon today to verify whether there has been a full and complete withdrawal of all Syrian troops, military assets and intelligence apparatus as mandated by Security Council resolution 1559.

UN looks to improve lot of Iraqis at bottom rung of socio-economic ladder

While the senior United Nations envoy for Iraq continues his almost daily consultations with the top echelons of the political elite, seeking to ensure full participation in writing a new constitution, a second UN body is focusing on the lower reaches of society, aiming to improve living conditions for its poorest members.