Middle East

Ban welcomes humanitarian exchange between Israel and Hizbollah

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed recent progress on resolving the humanitarian aspects of the Security Council resolution that ended the 2006 conflict between Israel and the Lebanese group Hizbollah.

UN health agency to set up permanent office in Iraqi capital

The United Nations health agency is establishing a permanent office in Baghdad as part of the world body's efforts to provide greater support to the Iraqi people, the senior UN official in the country announced today.

UN observer force in Golan Heights to continue for further six months

The Security Council today extended for another six months the United Nations force observing the more than three-decade-old ceasefire between Israel and Syria on the Golan Heights.

International damage claims expert to serve on Vienna-based UN body

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has decided to appoint Ronald J. Bettauer of the United States to the three-member Board of the United Nations Register of Damage caused by the Construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (UNRoD).

UNESCO chief speaks out against killing of Iraqi journalist

The head of the United Nations agency tasked with promoting press freedom has condemned the murder of an Iraqi journalist, and urged the authorities to improve the safety of media professionals in the country.

UN agencies resume food relief for Iraqi refugees in Syria

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN refugee agency said today that they have resumed food distributions to tens of thousands of Iraqi refugees in the Syrian capital, Damascus, after a two-month interruption.

UN Special Committee voices serious concern about situation facing Palestinians

A General Assembly panel expressed serious concern today about the deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, Israel’s continuing settlements policy and the impact of the separation barrier on Palestinians.

Security Council hopeful about progress on issues pending since 1990 Gulf war

The Security Council today said that recent identifications of human remains provided reason to hope for further progress in determining the fate of Kuwaitis and other nationals missing since Iraq’s 1990 invasion, but lamented the lack of progress in finding the Kuwaiti national archive.

Arab cities to launch UN-backed drive to combat racism

Several cities across the Arab world are to launch a campaign to fight racism, discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance, with the support of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Middle East Quartet urges further steps in support of Israeli-Palestinian peace

The Middle East diplomatic Quartet today stressed the urgent need for more visible progress on the ground to support ongoing Israeli-Palestinian negotiations aimed at settling their conflict, and voiced hope that the current calm in Gaza will continue.