Middle East

Jordan: UN agency pledges $11 million to boost health services for Iraqi refugees

Aiming to improve medical services and facilities for the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees living in Jordan, the United Nations refugee agency today pledged $11 million to help the country care for them.

Ban Ki-moon ‘cautiously optimistic’ about deadlock on Lebanese presidency

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who has just completed an international visit that included a stop in Lebanon, said today he was “cautiously optimistic” that the country’s political leaders could resolve their tense stand-off over the election of a new president.

Secretary-General urges Lebanese leaders to work for national interest

Lebanon’s leaders must place the national interest above their personal and sectarian interests as the country prepares to elect a new president before a constitutional deadline later this month, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today as he wrapped up a two-day visit to the country.

Iran: UN nuclear watchdog chief circulates latest report

The head of the United Nations atomic watchdog has circulated his latest report regarding the nuclear programme of Iran to the agency’s Board of Governors.

Illegal trade in Iraqi cultural heritage must end, says UN expert committee

An international committee set up by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is appealing to the international community to help stop the illicit excavation, pillaging and trafficking of Iraqi cultural property.

Free and fair presidential election will be ‘milestone’ for Lebanon – Ban Ki-moon

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paid a visit today to Lebanon, where he has once again stressed that the holding of a free and fair presidential election later this month, without any foreign interference, would constitute a milestone for a country whose political situation he described as “complex and difficult.”

Secretary-General announces plan to appoint Canadian to head Hariri inquiry

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has informed the Security Council of his plan to appoint a senior Canadian legal figure as the next head of the independent commission tasked with investigating the assassination of the former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri and many other killings in the Middle Eastern country.

New UN envoy for Iraq starts work in Baghdad

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's new Special Representative for Iraq, Staffan de Mistura, has arrived in Baghdad where he immediately assumed his responsibilities as the top United Nations envoy in the country.

UN tries to resettle Palestinians trapped in refugee camps on Iraqi-Syrian border

The United Nations refugee agency said today that it is continuing to search for feasible resettlement options for almost 2,000 Palestinians stuck in camps on or near the Iraqi-Syrian border as recent sandstorms worsen the already-difficult living conditions inside the camps.

UN development agency teams up with Arab foundation to boost knowledge

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, the largest private foundation in the Arab world, have signed an agreement paving the way for activities aimed at promoting knowledge in the region.