Middle East

Ensuring quality education among challenges for Syria, UNICEF chief says

Syria has made advances in achieving globally agreed development targets related to women and children, but still faces challenges in ensuring quality education, according to the head of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Marking 60 years of UN assistance, Ban honours courage of Palestinians

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paid tribute today to Palestinian refugees, who he said had shown great courage in the face of conflict, as well as to the efforts over the past 60 years of the United Nations agency tasked with assisting them.

Departing top UN envoy congratulates Iraq on gains in consolidating democracy

On his last day as the top United Nations envoy to Iraq, Staffan de Mistura today congratulated the country’s Government on strides made towards the consolidation of democracy and the restoration of sovereignty.

Deploring attacks, Ban appeals to Iraqis to reject incitement to violence

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, condemning recent attacks in several Iraqi cities, called today on the people of the strife-torn nation to reject attempts to incite further violence.

UN human rights probe wraps up public hearings in Gaza

The United Nations fact-finding mission on the recent Gaza conflict, mandated by the Human Rights Council, today completed its first round of public hearings in Gaza City during which it heard testimony from witnesses, victims and experts.

UN and partners seeking 'meaningful' progress from Israel, Palestinians

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon joined the other members of the diplomatic Middle East Quartet today in calling on Israel and the Palestinians to fulfil their agreed obligations in the search for peace, adding that it is important to work hard towards meaningful progress.

Vice-President of UN-backed tribunal for Lebanon killings takes up post

Judge Ralph Jacques Riachy has taken up his post as Vice-President of the United Nations-backed tribunal set up to try the perpetrators of recent political killings in Lebanon, including the February 2005 murder of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

Top UN envoy urges Iraqis to refrain from ‘sectarian hatred’

Deploring yesterday’s bombing in Sadr City, as well as the recent string of attacks across Iraq, a senior United Nations official today called on all Iraqis not to respond to the deadly incidents with sectarian violence.

Upcoming hearings enable victims to speak directly to UN Gaza rights probe

Members of the independent fact-finding mission set up by the United Nations Human Rights Council will hold public hearings in Gaza next week as part of its investigations into violations committed during the recent conflict in the Strip, allowing those affected to tell their stories to the world.

New report shows over 2.5 million Iraqis received UN assistance in 2008

The United Nations and its partners provided some $207 million worth of humanitarian assistance to over 2.5 million Iraqis in 2008, according to a report by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), highlighting the successes and challenges for aid organizations in the strife-torn country.