Middle East

UNICEF joins Egyptian university to boost child protection in Islamic world

With a disproportionate number of the 600 million children in the Islamic world facing huge challenges, from poverty and disease to lack of education and protection, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has teamed up with Egypt’s prestigious Al-Azhar University to produce a manual to improve child development.

Security Council welcomes opening of Rafah Crossing

The Security Council today welcomed the successful opening of the Rafah Crossing between Gaza and Egypt last Friday as an important step forward, following the mid-November agreement on movement and access between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

UN envoy raises reported abuse of detainees with Iraqi officials

The senior United Nations envoy in Iraq has several times brought up the issue of human rights violations with Iraqi officials, including the need for "structural changes" in the security system, a UN spokesman said today.

Marking Palestinian solidarity day, Annan calls for renewed action toward peace

In an address marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called for renewed action by Israelis and Palestinians to meet their obligations under the Road Map peace process, which calls for parallel steps by both parties toward a final agreement.

UN agency hails Syria’s role in helping Palestinian refugees

The head of the main United Nations agency helping Palestinian refugees has stressed the importance of Syria’s contribution in helping it perform its work.

UN Iraq envoy stresses inclusive elections and protection of civilians in talks

Continuing his series of meetings with Iraqi leaders on national reconcialliation, the senior United Nations envoy to Iraq held talks over the past two days with former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and Defense Minister Sa’doun Duleimi, urging inclusive elections and protection of civilians.

In talks with UN envoy, Iraqi leaders pledge to probe reported rights abuses

The senior United Nations envoy to Iraq held talks this weekend with the country's President and Prime Minister on the latest political developments as well as reported human rights abuses in government detention centres, which the two leaders pledged to rectify.

UN atomic watchdog calls on Iran to show its nuclear activities are peaceful

The head of the United Nations agency entrusted with curbing the spread of nuclear weapons has called on Iran to take speedy action to provide additional information and take other measures that are “indispensable” for ensuring that its nuclear programme is solely for peaceful purposes.

UN confirms agreement with Syria on Lebanon murder probe

Detlev Mehlis, who heads the investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, has reached an agreement with the Syrian authorities on the United Nations office in Vienna as a venue for the questioning of five Syrian officials in the case, a UN spokesperson confirmed today.

Annan briefs Security Council on recent Middle East trip

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today briefed the Security Council on his recent trip to the Middle East, touching on the issues of terrorism, Syria and Lebanon and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.