Middle East

Middle East: Annan condemns upsurge in violence, urges restraint

The United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, today said he was troubled by the recent upsurge of violence in the Middle East, particularly attacks in northern Israel and murders of Palestinians in Gaza.

Iraq: ‘oil-for-food’ coordinator reports progress amid obstacles

The Humanitarian Coordinator for the United Nations Office of the Iraq Programme today reported mixed results from the "oil-for-food" effort, while stressing that overall, it had improved the lot of the country's people.

On Day of Solidarity with Palestinian people, UN officials urge peace talks

At a solemn meeting commemorating the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian people, United Nations officials today renewed their call for peace talks in the troubled Middle East region.

Despite pledges, UN agency aiding Palestinian refugees faces funding shortage

Despite pledges to cover a substantial part of the $76.9 million needed to help Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, the United Nations relief programme in the area has received only about one fourth of the amount needed, according to a UN document released today.

Iraq: Security Council approves 180-day extension of 'oil-for-food' programme

Determined to improve the humanitarian situation in Iraq, the Security Council today voted unanimously to extend the United Nations "oil-for-food" programme for a new period of 180 days, beginning on 1 December.

Middle East: Security Council renews mandate of UN Golan Heights mission

The United Nations Security Council today renewed the mandate of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) established in 1974 to monitor the disengagement of Israeli and Syrian forces in the Golan Heights.

Iraqi petroleum exports drop under UN 'oil-for-food' programme

Last week saw a sharp drop in Iraqi crude exports under the United Nations oil-for-food programme, according to the Office running the scheme, which allows Iraq to use a portion of its petroleum revenues to purchase humanitarian relief.

UN panel urges Zambia, Israel to better implement anti-torture treaty

A United Nations expert panel today completed its review of efforts by Zambia and Israel to implement a key international treaty against torture, recommending that both countries improve certain procedures to be more in line with the accord's provisions.

Iraq: commissioners for UN weapons inspection body to meet next week

Experts providing guidance to the United Nations body set up to verify the dismantling of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction will meet next week in New York, a United Nations spokesman announced today.

Iraq: Annan concerned over shortfall of oil revenues to fund relief effort

Reporting a substantial shortfall in the funds available for the implementation of the United Nations humanitarian programme in Iraq, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called on all parties concerned to overcome the problems hindering the effort.