Middle East

Israel’s Gaza pullout must lead to West Bank, East Jerusalem exit – UN committee

A United Nations committee on Palestinian rights has called for Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza to be followed by similar steps in the whole of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, leading to a just and lasting solution of the Middle East conflict.

Iraq: UN pledges help following bridge tragedy in Baghdad

The United Nations today pledged the world body’s full help following the “catastrophic loss of hundreds of lives” when a large number of pilgrims, many of them women and children, died in the crush of a crowd crossing a bridge over the Tigris River in Baghdad.

UNESCO chief condemns killing of journalist in Baghdad

The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) condemned the killing of Reuters engineer Walled Khaled in Baghdad on 28 August and the wounding of his colleague Haider Kadhem, and he urged authorities to remember that journalists should be allowed to operate freely.

Lebanon: UN probe names intelligence officers as suspects in ex-premier’s death

The United Nations inquiry into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri identified three former heads of Lebanese intelligence and security agencies and a former member of parliament as suspects in the car bombing that also killed 20 other people, a UN spokesperson said today.

Annan hails Iraq's new draft constitution, urges parties to continue inclusive process

Welcoming the completion of Iraq's new draft constitution, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today urged the parties to maintain their spirit of national reconciliation as the process moves towards the document's adoption – an important milestone in the country's political transition.

As polls near, UNICEF calls on Afghans to make children, mothers a priority

With up to 700 Afghan children under the age of five dying every day due to mostly preventable causes and 70 women losing their lives daily in pregnancy or childbirth, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has launched a new wide-ranging pre-election radio campaign to boost basic education and primary health care.

UN report lays out prescription for reviving Palestinian economy

With the economy of the occupied Palestinian territory continuing its sharp deterioration, a new United Nations report today stressed that efforts to launch an economic revival should target poverty reduction while expanding production and trade.

Security Council ‘confident’ of cooperation on fate of missing Kuwaitis in Iraq

Welcoming the Iraqi Government’s constructive engagement in the ongoing inquiry into the fate of Kuwaitis who went missing in Iraq after the 1990 invasion of their country, the United Nations Security Council today expressed confidence that the parties involved would work to ensure that all outstanding issues were satisfactorily addressed.

Security Council calls for cooperation with probe of Lebanese ex-Premier murder

Underlining its support for the United Nations commission investigating the assassination last February of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, the Security Council today reiterated its call for all States and all parties, especially those which have yet to respond adequately, to provide any information that can help solve the crime.

UN effort to help restore Iraq’s ‘Garden of Eden’ marshes bears fruit

After a decade of decline and near destruction during the rule of Saddam Hussein, new satellite images show that Iraq’s fabled marshlands of Mesopotamia, considered by some to be the original “Garden of Eden,” are recovering at phenomenal speed, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) said today.