Middle East

Lebanon begins vaccinations under UN strategy to end measles, rubella

Lebanon started a national measles and rubella vaccination campaign today targeting more than 900,000 schoolchildren, as part of its commitments under a United Nations strategy to eliminate the diseases by the end of 2010.

Lasting Mideast peace ‘hinges’ on resolving Arab-Israeli conflict – Ban Ki-moon

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stressed that peace and progress in the Middle East “hinges on a just and lasting solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict,” pledging the support of the United Nations to help achieve this goal.

Iraq: UN prepared to provide immediate relief in violence-torn in Basra

United Nations humanitarian agencies in Iraq announced today that they are ready to provide assistance in Basra, where a large-scale military operation is under way.

Criminal network responsible for Hariri assassination, says UN probe

Evidence shows that a criminal network was responsible for the massive car bombing that killed the former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others in Beirut in February 2005, the International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) says in a new report to the Security Council.

Security Council welcomes report of progress on Lebanon tribunal

Members of the Security Council today welcomed a report from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that showed he was making “substantial progress” in setting up an international tribunal to try those responsible for the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

Secretary-General urges continued talks despite recent bloodshed in Middle East

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today praised Palestinian and Israeli leaders for their commitment to the Middle East political process despite the recent spike of violence, and urged that the targets for a settlement that were set in last year’s talks be kept.

Ban Ki-moon recommends UN transfer $100 million to Iraq development fund

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has recommended the Security Council transfer $100 million from United Nations Iraq Account, made up of funds related to the expired oil-for-food programme, to an account for the country’s development, a UN spokesperson said today.

UN force marks 30 years of peacekeeping in southern Lebanon

Blue helmets representing the 25 different national contingents that make up the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) today marked three decades of peacekeeping in the Middle Eastern nation.

Top UN envoy to Iraq monitors progress of election preparations

Iraq’s independent electoral administrators must remain transparent in their work as they prepare for governorate council polls later this year, the senior United Nations envoy to the country said today after visiting their Baghdad headquarters.

Iraqi crisis fuels rise in asylum-seekers in industrialized world – UN report

A five-year decline in asylum applications in developed countries turned around in 2007 largely because of Iraqis fleeing violence in their home country, according to statistics released today by the United Nations refugee agency.