Middle East

Ban calls for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

With the crisis in Gaza and southern Israel having reached its fifth day, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today appealed for an urgent ceasefire to end the violence and to allow crucial humanitarian aid to reach Gazans.

New UN-backed blog site encourages Iraqis to take part in upcoming polls

A new United Nations-supported blog site just launched in Baghdad is the latest initiative to engage voters in the nascent democracy and motivate them to go to the polls on 31 January 2009 during the country’s provincial elections.

Ban, top diplomatic partners call for immediate ceasefire in Israel-Gaza fighting

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today held a teleconference with his principal international partners in the search for Middle East peace, calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and southern Israel as United Nations agencies warned that hundreds of wounded in Gaza hospitals faced a surge in preventable deaths due to lack of medical supplies.

Israel and Hamas must halt violence; humanitarian supplies must enter Gaza – Ban

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today demanded that Israel and Hamas halt their acts of violence, take all necessary measures to avoid civilian casualties, and that Israel keep open all border crossings necessary for the continued provision of humanitarian supplies to Gaza.

Security Council calls on Israel, Palestinians to end violence immediately

The Security Council on Sunday called on Israel and the Palestinians to immediately end all violence, as Israeli airstrikes in response to rocket attacks by militants in Gaza reportedly killed 270 people and wounded more than 600 in the Strip.

Secretary-General urges immediate halt to renewed Israeli-Palestinian violence

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday appealed for an immediate halt to the renewed violence in the Middle East, after Israeli air strikes – in response to ongoing rocket attacks by Palestinian militants – reportedly killed at least 150 people in Gaza.

Partnership between UN and Lebanese army stressed during President’s visit

The close cooperation between United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the Lebanese Army in ensuring peace and security in the country’s southern region was stressed today during a visit by President Michel Suleiman to the mission’s headquarters in Naqoura.

Some supplies allowed into Gaza as Israel opens crossings, UN reports

More than 105 truckloads of food and medical supplies were allowed to enter Gaza today after Israel opened border crossings that had been closed for over a week, the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) reported.

Ban calls on Hamas to immediately end rocket attacks on Israel

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on Hamas to ensure an immediate end to rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel and urged all parties to work urgently to ease humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip, including the continuous flow of needed supplies.

Ban hails move by creditor nations to cancel nearly $8 billion in Iraqi debt

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today hailed the decision of the 19-member Paris Club of nations to cancel the remaining 20 per cent of Iraq's debt from the Saddam Hussein era – amounting to $7.8 billion – and called on other creditors to take similar action to help the country rebuild its economy.