Middle East

UN facilitates return of hundreds of Iraqi refugees from Iran

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is helping hundreds of exiled Iraqis return from Iran to their home country, a spokesman for the agency said today.

Annan hails capture of Saddam Hussein

Hailing the capture of Saddam Hussein as a "positive development," United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called for international norms of justice to prevail in trials against Iraqi criminals.

Capture of Saddam Hussein can spur search for peace, Annan says

Reacting to the news that former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has been taken into custody, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said this could help stabilize the war-ravaged country.

UN Palestine refugee agency launches emergency appeal for $193 million

The main United Nations relief agency for Palestinian refugees launched an emergency appeal today for $193 million to relieve suffering in the occupied territories where three years of curfews, closures and conflict have plunged two-thirds of the people into dire poverty and hunger and limited their access to health and education.

Small window of opportunity for peace has opened - UN Middle East envoy

A narrow window of opportunity has opened to re-start the Middle East peace process, but the situation remains fragile and the only viable solution is to follow the Road Map, the senior United Nations envoy for the Middle East told the Security Council today.

UN Fund Facility to rebuild Iraq is launched today

The International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq, a combination of two trust funds through which governments can contribute to the rebuilding of Iraq, was inaugurated today by the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) and the World Bank.

Annan requests six-month extension for Golan Heights peacekeepers

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has asked the Security Council to extend the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Golan Heights, which has monitored the disengagement of Israeli and Syrian forces in the area since 1974, for another six months.

UN mission calls for caution after two men killed near Lebanon-Israel border

The United Nations peacekeeping mission monitoring the Israeli-Lebanese border has called for all parties in the area to exercise caution after Israel’s Defence Force reported to the mission that it shot and killed two armed men who were approaching the technical fence along the border.

Annan names acting Special Representative for Iraq

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today named veteran relief coordinator Ross Mountain as his acting Special Representative for Iraq to replace Sergio Vieira de Mello, who was among those killed in the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad in August.

Annan says Iraq needs more than a military solution

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan says the observance of basic human rights in Iraq has improved, but he notes that the insurgency in Iraq cannot be solved solely by military action and also needs a political response from a more inclusive governing body.