Middle East

As Iraqi vote nears UN officials stress need for inclusiveness

With barely two weeks left before Iraq holds elections for a provisional national assembly which will appoint a new government and write a constitution, top United Nations officials today called for the poll to be as inclusive as possible despite the violence in the war-wracked country.

UN official paints modestly optimistic picture for progress in Middle East conflict

For the second straight month the head of the United Nations Political Affairs office today presented a modestly optimistic picture of the “enormous potential” for progress towards settling the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians in contrast to the gloomy forebodings of much of the past year.

Annan's personal envoy for southern Lebanon named deputy of UN mission in Iraq

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today appointed his personal envoy focusing on containing tensions along the line marking the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon to be his Deputy Special Representative for Iraq.

UN telecommunications conference to be held in Qatar in March next year

The United Nations telecommunications agency will hold a conference of its highest policy-making body in an Arab state for the first time when its Member States meet next year in Qatar.

Residents return to devastated Iraqi city of Fallujah with help of UN refugee agency

The United Nations refugee agency is working with Iraq’s Ministry of Displacement and Migration to help some of the more than 250,000 people of Fallujah return to their city after it was heavily damaged in last November’s assault by United States-led forces against insurgents there.

At meeting of Iraq's neighbours, envoy pledges UN's commitment to helping Iraqi people

The United Nations envoy for Iraq today told a meeting of the country's neighbours and the eight leading industrialized nations that the world body remained committed to helping the Iraqi people and stressed the importance of this month's elections.

UN registry of damage to Palestinians from Israeli barrier moves step closer

The establishment of a United Nations register of the damage Israel's construction of a separation barrier is causing Palestinians in the occupied West Bank moved a step closer today when Secretary-General Kofi Annan forwarded a letter to the General Assembly setting out a framework and the next moves for its creation.

Security Council calls for restraint in southern Lebanon following 'Blue Line' shootings

Security Council members today called on the parties in southern Lebanon to live up to their commitments and to exercise restraint, after an exchange of fire over the weekend between the Israeli military and Hizbollah forces across the line of withdrawal led to the killing and wounding of United Nations peacekeepers.

Hailing new Palestinian president, Annan looks forward to independent state

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed the election of new Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as "a significant step in what is a historic democratic transition" in the occupied territories, and said he was looking forward to working for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

UN peacekeeper in Lebanon killed, prompting Annan to condemn rise in fighting along 'Blue Line'

A French United Nations peacekeeper was killed and a Swedish colleague injured Sunday while patrolling the line of withdrawal in southern Lebanon, prompting Secretary-General Kofi Annan today to deplore the rise in fighting between Israel and Hizbollah along the so-called Blue Line.