Middle East

UN agency mobilizes Iraqis to extend helping hand to fellow refugees in Syria

The United Nations refugee agency has marshalled some 80 Iraqi women to volunteer assistance to their fellow refugees spread out over a number of large cities in Syria, in an innovative move aimed at overcoming the unique challenges faced by this vulnerable group.

UN envoy in Iraq expresses hope for 2010 polls

Looking ahead to 2010, the top United Nations envoy to Iraq expressed hope today for a united Iraqi Government following the elections scheduled for early next year, reaffirming the world body’s support for the country’s governance strategies.

Iran: UN rights chief shocked by deadly violence

Expressing her shock at the recent uptick in deadly violence in Iran, the top United Nations human rights official today called on the nation’s Government to rein in its security forces.

Facing climate change, developing world benefits from UN online scientific scheme

As part of a project to promote scientific knowledge in the developing world in the face of climate change, the United National environmental agency this month extended its online programme to Yemen, offering it a chance to gain greater access to leading scientific journals.

UN expert repeats call for threat of sanctions against Israel over Gaza blockade

The United Nations independent expert on Palestinian rights has again called for a threat of economic sanctions against Israel to force it to lift its blockade of Gaza, which is preventing the return to a normal life for 1.5 million residents after the devastating Israeli offensive a year ago.

UN chief sounds warning over unresolved issues one year on from Gaza conflict

On the first anniversary of the launch of a three-week Israeli military offensive in Gaza, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced deep concern that neither the issues that led to the conflict nor its worrying aftermath have been addressed.

UN envoy extends seasonal wishes to Iraqi Christians amid fresh tensions

The top United Nations envoy to Iraq today issued seasonal wishes to the country's Christians and to all Iraqis amid fears of a surge in violence targeting the country's Christian population.

Secretary-General expresses hope that Israel will allow more items to enter Gaza

After Israel’s announcement that it will allow glass into Gaza following United Nations requests to repair homes damaged during last year’s fighting, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced hope that this will pave the way for other much-needed materials to enter the area.

UN expert urges Israel to end Gaza blockade as anniversary of campaign looms

Ahead of the first anniversary of the Israeli military campaign in the Gaza Strip, a United Nations independent expert is urging Israel’s European and North American allies to use the threat of economic sanctions to pressure the country into ending the blockade and calling for the swift implementation of the findings of the so-called Goldstone Report.

Security Council extends development fund for Iraq for another year

The Security Council today renewed for another year a development fund set up immediately after the United States-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 to meet the country’s humanitarian needs, economic reconstruction and infrastructure repairs.