Middle East

Alarmed by Middle East fighting, Security Council calls for halt to cycle of violence

Increasingly concerned at the unprecedented levels of violence and the steadily worsening situation in the Middle East, United Nations Security Council members have called for an immediate halt to the “destructive and dangerous cycle of violence.”

UN relief agency launches $117 million appeal to help Palestine refugees

Responding to deteriorating conditions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip following 16 months of strife, closures and sanctions, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) today appealed for $117 million for its emergency operations this year.

In Vienna, Annan says 'isolated' Arafat should be given more room to lead

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat should be given more room to operate and the “political time to act,” United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today – the first day of his official visit to Austria.

Iraq: head of UN's 'oil-for-food' programme ends visit to northern provinces

The United Nations official overseeing the humanitarian programme for Iraq has concluded a weeklong review of the operation in the country's northern provinces in an effort to speed up and improve the implementation of the scheme, known as oil-for-food.

Security Council approves six-month extension of UN force in Lebanon

Condemning all acts of violence and voicing "great concern" about the serious violations of the withdrawal line between Lebanon and Israel, the Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), until 31 July.

UNHCR welcomes launch of national refugee agency in Israel

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today welcomed the inauguration in Israel of a national agency to deal with asylum seekers.

Lebanon: UN urges respect for withdrawal line following Shebaa Farms incident

Reacting to clashes across the withdrawal line in southern Lebanon, a senior United Nations official in Beirut today called on the parties to put an end to the violations that could inflame an already-tense region.

Top UN envoy in Middle East voices 'horror' over latest round of violence

The United Nations top envoy in the Middle East today expressed "horror" over the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian violence, warning of the dangers of unchecked escalation.

UN's oil-for-food programme releases latest figures on Iraqi petroleum exports

Iraq's oil exports in the past week netted an estimated $180 million in revenue at current prices and rate of exchange, despite the number of barrels shipped remaining below average, at just over 1.5 million per day, the United Nations office overseeing the humanitarian "oil-for-food" programme said today.

Annan urges both sides in Middle East conflict to stop recent violence, resume talks

Reiterating his conviction that a solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict cannot be reached through force, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today urged both sides to end the recent spate of violence and return to the bargaining table.