Middle East

New UN envoy in Syria to seek withdrawal of foreign troops from Lebanon

Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s newly appointed envoy on the withdrawal of foreign troops from Lebanon met over the weekend in Damascus with senior officials of Syria, which has 14,000 troops on its smaller neighbour’s soil.

UN announces disciplinary measures against two staffers linked to Oil-for-Food

The United Nations today announced the start of disciplinary procedures against two staff members named in a recent preliminary report by an independent panel probing allegations of corruption and mismanagement in the UN Oil-for-Food programme for Iraq.

Annan to soon offer ideas for UN anti-terrorism strategy

Responding to a recommendation by his High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change that the United Nations should work out a comprehensive anti-terrorism strategy, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has told a counter-terrorism meeting that he would soon put forward some ideas on the matter.

Iraq: UN envoy meets head of Association of Muslim Scholars, Iraqi Planning Minister

The senior United Nations envoy to Iraq is continuing consultations with Iraqi leaders across the political spectrum on how to advance the country's political process in the wake of last month's landmark elections.

Annan again vows prompt action on Oil-for-Food report

Declaring that he did not want a shadow to hang over the United Nations, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today again pledged prompt action after an interim report by an independent panel faulted the official in charge of the UN-managed Iraqi Oil-for-Food Programme for "ethically improper" conduct.

Top UN envoy stresses need for all Iraqis to take part in shaping country's future

The top United Nations envoy for Iraq today stressed the need for all Iraqis to take part in shaping their country's future as he continued talks with political leaders following Sunday's elections in which voter turnout in Sunni areas was particularly low after boycott calls and ongoing violence.

Acting on Oil-for-Food report, Annan takes disciplinary action, further management steps

Reaffirming his pledge to act resolutely on any findings of staff misconduct in connection with the United Nations Oil-for-Food programme for Iraq, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today announced that he had initiated disciplinary proceedings against officials involved in the operation and was taking broader management measures in response to the release earlier in the day of a report by an independent panel looking into the management of the now-defunct relief effort.

Top UN envoy meets with Iraqi Prime Minister to discuss post-election landscape

The top United Nations envoy in Iraq met with interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi today to discuss the role the world body will play in supporting the political process following Sunday's polls to elect a national assembly that will write a new democratic constitution for a country that has suffered decades of dictatorship.

New UN envoy on foreign troops in Lebanon to visit Damascus, Beirut

Secretary-General Kofi Annan's newly appointed top envoy on the withdrawal of foreign troops from Lebanon will meet in the coming week with the leaders of Lebanon and Syria, which has 14,000 troops on its smaller neighbour's soil, a United Nations spokesman announced today.

Looking forward to Volcker report, Annan reaffirms resolve to improve UN management

Saying he looked forward to receiving the report of an independent panel investigating the United Nations Oil-for-Food programme for Iraq, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today stressed that the UN was already taking action to improve the organization's procedures.