Middle East

Gaza power supplies critically low, warns UN

Due to disruptions at the Nahal Oz fuel crossing – which was attacked earlier this month by Palestinian militants – fuel supplies for Gaza are critically low, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) warned today.

Iraq must spend more on basic services, particularly for children, says UN envoy

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict has called on the Iraqi Government to spend more on basic services, noting that a large portion of the strife-torn nation’s children are going to school or receiving proper care.

Secretary-General to chair upcoming Middle East Quartet meeting

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will chair a meeting of the diplomatic Middle East Quartet – comprising the United Nations, the European Union, Russia and the United States – later this week in London.

Only 4 per cent of Iraqis in Syria plan to return home: UN report

Only 4 per cent of Iraqi refugees currently plan to return to their own country, while almost all have fled their homeland because of direct threats or general insecurity, according to a report out today from the United Nations refugee agency.

Middle East peace must include solution for Palestinian refugees, Ban Ki-moon says

A sustainable peace in the Middle East will have to factor in a viable and just solution to the Palestinian refugee issue, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a United Nations meeting convened in Paris to assess the condition of the refugees and examine the role of the world body in alleviating their plight.

Nearly $1 billion paid out by UN reparations panel for invasion of Kuwait

The United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC), which settles the damage claims of those who suffered losses because of Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait, today announced the disbursement of some $972.4 million to 26 successful claimants.

First official of UN-backed tribunal on Lebanese killings starts work

The first official of the United Nations-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon to take up his functions, the registrar Robin Vincent, began his duties yesterday as the court continues to make progress in its start-up phase.

Secretary-General urges Israel to exercise restraint after latest violence in Gaza

Condemning today’s loss of civilian life in the Gaza Strip – including the “tragic” deaths of a mother and four of her children – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed to Israel to exercise maximum care and restraint.

UN playing enhanced role in Iraq, political chief tells Security Council

The international community has a duty and an interest in showing sustained commitment to helping to bring peace and prosperity to Iraq as the country undergoes “a painful transition,” the senior United Nations political official told the Security Council today.

Prolonged presidential stand-off in Lebanon must end, UN report stresses

Lebanon's people “have a unique opportunity to open a new chapter in their difficult history” and they and their political representatives must rise to the occasion and elect a president without any preconditions other than those outlined in the national constitution, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in his latest report on the troubled country.