Middle East

Palestinian girl shot dead in UN-run school in Gaza Strip

A 10-year-old Palestinian girl was shot and killed today while lining up for afternoon assembly in the yard of a United Nations-run school in the occupied Gaza Strip at a time when firing was heard from the direction of the Israeli-controlled border area, the fifth such fatal incident in the territory in the past two years.

As Annan stresses inclusiveness after Iraqi elections, top UN envoy meets leaders

With United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan declaring that the success of Sunday’s elections augurs well for Iraq’s transition, his top representative in the country today met with leading politicians to stress the need to bring all Iraqis together in shaping the future of their nation.

Security Council congratulates brave Iraqis for voting in elections

Congratulating the people of Iraq on Sunday's election, Security Council members today offered their continued support for the country's political transition.

Success of Iraqi election augurs well for transition, Annan says, pledging UN support

Reacting to early indications following today's polling in Iraq, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan hailed the election's success, urged national reconciliation and pledged the world body's help in facilitating the country's ongoing political transition.

'Please exercise your democratic rights,' Annan tells Iraqis two days before polls

Two days before Iraq holds its first free elections in a generation amid continuing violence and uncertainty, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on Iraqis to turn out in large numbers, cautioned insurgents against intimidating voters and pledged the world body's continuing help in the future.

Mandate of UN force in southern Lebanon extended until July

Calling for an end to "serious breaches" of the ceasefire between Israel and Lebanon, the Security Council today extended the mandate of the peacekeeping United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for another six months and urged Lebanon to deploy an adequate number of security forces along the so-called Blue Line between the two countries.

Sunday's election in Iraq not a 'be-all and end-all' but merely a staging post – UN

With conditions far from ideal and security a major problem, Iraq's elections on Sunday should not be seen as "a be-all and end-all," but only one in a series of important staging posts "along an evolving transition" as the country emerges from an extremely traumatic chapter in its history, senior United Nations officials aid today.

5 days before Iraqi poll, UN envoy reviews steps to ensure fairness, transparency

With five days to go until Iraqis vote for a national assembly that will appoint a new provisional government, write a constitution and organize definitive elections by the end of the year, the top United Nations envoy in the country today reviewed measures aimed at holding a fair and transparent poll.

Independent Oil-for-Food panel interviews UN Secretary-General

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan was interviewed today by members of the Independent Inquiry Committee (IIC) he commissioned to examine allegations of corruption surrounding the now-defunct Oil-for-Food programme for Iraq.

UN envoy holds intensive meetings with Iraqi leaders in run-up to elections

The United Nations special envoy for Iraq Ashraf Qazi has been holding intensive meetings with Iraqi leaders to identify specific mechanisms to improve the security and political environments in which Iraq's Independent Electoral Commission will hold elections next Sunday, the UN mission in Baghdad said today.