Middle East

Annan urges all parties to Middle East crisis to help end tragedy

Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today in New York that the Middle East region was facing a "major crisis" and stressed that all the parties involved must work together to help "in ending the tragedy and getting back to the table."

UN symposium examines challenges facing children in Arab world

A four-day United Nations symposium on children's rights wrapped up today in Beirut with a call on Arab countries to reinforce policies ensuring young people's rights to development and social welfare.

Continuing Middle East diplomacy, UN envoy holds meetings in Damascus

Continuing his diplomatic efforts in response to recent violence in the Middle East, a top United Nations envoy held high-level meetings today in Syria.

Iraq earns additional €370 million under UN's oil-for-food programme

Iraq has earned an additional €370 million (euros) under the United Nations oil-for-food programme, according to new statistics released today by the office overseeing the scheme, which allows Baghdad to export its petroleum and use a portion of the profits for humanitarian relief.

UN development agency appeals for funds to help Palestinian students

With the education of thousands of Palestinian youths at stake, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is appealing for emergency funds to help students in Gaza and abroad to pay university tuition and fees.

Middle East: Warning that violence could spread, UN envoy pursues contacts

Amid growing international concern over the latest spate of Middle East violence, a top United Nations envoy met today with senior Palestinian officials and then headed for Jordan and Syria for more high-level meetings.

Security Council members call on Iraq to cooperate on missing Kuwaitis

Security Council members today expressed concern at the plight of Kuwaiti and third country nationals missing since Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, and called on Baghdad to cooperate with the United Nations official who is looking into that matter.

UN envoy in Lebanon calls for end to Israeli violations of Blue Line

A United Nations official in Lebanon today called for an end to the numerous Israeli air violations of the withdrawal line, known as the "Blue Line," which he said were of heightened concern amid the current tense climate.

Middle East: need for parties to talk is critical, Annan says

Reacting to ongoing insecurity in the Middle East, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today stressed the importance of recognizing that the issues of violence, economic deprivation and the political process were interlinked and had to be tackled flexibly.

Israel's restrictions violate its international obligations, UN envoy says

A United Nations envoy for the peace process in the Middle East today told Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres that restrictions on UN personnel in the West Bank and Gaza violated the country's international obligations.