Middle East

UN agency reports death of 2 Palestinian refugee children in Iraq

Two sick Palestinian refugee children waiting for resettlement from Iraq died in the last two weeks, underscoring the precarious conditions faced by the group, a spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said today.

Middle East peace conference a ‘significant breakthrough,’ says top UN official

This week’s conference in the United States was “the most significant breakthrough” in the Middle East peace process in several years, but the difficult humanitarian and security situation on the ground should not be overlooked, the top United Nations political official told the Security Council today.

Iraqis returning from Syria, UN agency confirms

A convoy of buses carrying an estimated 800 Iraqis has left the Syrian capital of Damascus and crossed the border on its way to Baghdad, according to the United Nations refugee agency, which said most are returning because their resources are exhausted.

Secretary-General names Robert Serry of the Netherlands as Middle East envoy

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced his intention to appoint Robert H. Serry of the Netherlands as the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and his Personal Representative to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority.

Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people marked at UN with calls for action

Marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, United Nations officials today called for steps to translate the promises of the peace process – most recently expressed at a major meeting in the United States city of Annapolis – into action to achieve a two-State solution to the conflict in the Middle East.

Quartet voices support for Middle East conference in Annapolis

The diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East, made up of the United Nations, European Union, Russian Federation and United States, has voiced its full support for a conference on the region being held today in the US city of Annapolis.

Piecemeal approaches will not resolve Middle East conflict – Ban Ki-moon

It is time to “abandon piecemeal approaches” to resolving the Middle East conflict and start final status negotiations that deal with all the issues in dispute, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told an international meeting on the region being held today in the United States city of Annapolis.

UN refugee agency cautious about returns to Iraq

Responding to recent public reports about refugees returning to Iraq in limited numbers, a spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today cautioned against an organized effort to send civilians back to the war-ravaged country.

Ban Ki-moon urges calm after Lebanon postpones presidential election again

Reacting to the fifth postponement of the Lebanese presidential election beyond the term of the current incumbent, Emile Lahoud, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged all parties to maintain calm and further intensify efforts to reach a compromise as soon as possible.

Iraq: UN backs conference on human rights, civil society

Human rights and civil society in Iraq took centre stage at a conference attended by representatives from the country's Government, Iraqi civil society, dignitaries from Jordan, the European Commission and the United Nations, held in Amman.