Middle East

Israeli and Palestinian officials show desire to engage, says senior UN envoy

The presence of Israeli and Palestinian officials in Rome for a donors’ conference on the Middle East is the “most powerful expression yet” that both sides have a renewed desire to engage, the senior United Nations envoy for the Middle East, Terje Roed-Larsen, said today.

UN assists Iraqi refugees returning from Iran

Despite the insecurity prevailing in parts of Iraq and its discouragement of large-scale returns, the United Nations refugee agency said today repatriation convoys from Iran had begun and it had helped 280 people to return in the last three weeks.

UN Children's Fund reports world's largest measles vaccination campaigns

Iran and Turkey have launched the largest and most ambitious measles campaigns in the world, aiming to reach 53 million people over the next year, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said today.

Security Council lashes recent wave of terrorist attacks in Iraq

The United Nations Security Council today deplored the recent wave of terrorist attacks in Iraq against Iraqi and foreign nationals, and international and Coalition Provisional Authority personnel, which have left many people dead or injured.

UN General Assembly votes to ask ICJ for opinion on Israel's separation barrier

The United Nations General Assembly, at the resumption of its long-running tenth emergency special session on Palestine, adopted a resolution today asking the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to issue an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of Israel's construction of a separation barrier between itself and the West Bank.

Middle East: Annan 'encouraged' following Geneva Accord meeting

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan was 'encouraged' by a meeting of signatories to the Geneva Accord, which he said offers "the hope of future reconciliation and peace" for both Israelis and Palestinians.

Arab women lag in workforce and parliaments, UN committee informed

The Arab region has the world’s lowest proportion of women in the workforce and parliament, the United Nations adviser for women’s issues yesterday told the first meeting of a UN committee set up to assess the progress of Arab women.

UN human rights agency offers assistance to Iraqi officials

The United Nations human rights agency has offered to make its expertise available to Iraqi officials and representatives of civil society as they establish a legal framework to promote and protect human rights.

International monitoring board for Iraqi development fund holds first meeting

An international board created to advance the goals set forth by the United Nations Security Council of ensuring transparency in the work of the Development Fund for Iraq, met in New York today for its first meeting, which was opened by Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Monitoring board for Iraqi development fund to meet on Friday

An international board entrusted by the United Nations Security Council with monitoring the United States-led management of funding and revenues in Iraq will hold its first organizational meeting on Friday.