Middle East

UN to undertake science and technology strategy review for Iraq

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) announced today that it will work with the Iraqi Government to map out a strategy for using science, technology and innovation to reconstruct its economy and accelerate its development.

Security Council extends UN force in southern Lebanon for another year

The Security Council today extended until the end of August 2009 the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), stating that the deployment of the mission together with the country’s armed forces has helped to establish “a new strategic environment in southern Lebanon.”

UNESCO chief deplores murder of senior Iraqi cultural official

The head of the United Nations culture agency today condemned the murder of a senior Iraqi Government official who had long worked to protect and preserve his country’s cultural heritage.

Iraq: UN envoy persists with efforts to promote dialogue over disputed city

The top United Nations official in Iraq continues to work to promote political dialogue and national reconciliation across the country, including over the disputed status of the northern city of Kirkuk, a UN spokesperson said today.

Gaza: UN expert welcomes landing of ships carrying human rights activists

An independent United Nations human rights expert today hailed the landing of two wooden boats in Gaza carrying 46 human rights activists as a key symbolic victory.

Ban requests 12-month extension to UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has asked the Security Council to extend the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) by another 12 months until the end of August next year.

UN anti-drugs agency lauds record heroin seizure in the Gulf

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has hailed the efforts of the authorities in the United Arab Emirates in seizing 202 kilograms of heroin, worth some $11 million, in what is being called the largest-ever heroin bust in the Arab world.

Mixed picture in Middle East, UN official tells Security Council

Israel and the Palestinians are continuing their negotiations aimed at devising a durable settlement to their long-running conflict, but intra-Palestinian violence has spiked over the past month, the top United Nations political official told the Security Council today.

UN’s work in Iraq best tribute to colleagues killed five years ago, says top official

As the United Nations today remembers the colleagues killed and injured in the attack on its headquarters in Baghdad in 2003, the world body’s top political official said there is no better tribute to the fallen than continuing the vital work they began in Iraq.

Composer honours victims of bombing at UN headquarters in Baghdad

The writer of a classical work composed in honour of the United Nations staff members killed in the 2003 Baghdad bombing said the music is a gift to the UN family as officials, including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, prepare to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the attack.