Middle East

Geneva Convention applies to Palestinian territories, top UN rights official says

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, today called again for the establishment of an international monitoring presence in the occupied Palestinian territories to ensure that global human rights standards were being observed.

Concerned at violence in Middle East, Annan stresses need for peaceful settlement

Reacting to the latest intensification of violence in the Middle East, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today stressed the need for a peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Iraq: UN transfers $84 million in excess administrative funds to relief account

The United Nations has transferred $84 million in Iraqi oil revenues that had been set aside for administrative costs to an account designated for the purchase of humanitarian relief, according to documents made public today at UN Headquarters in New York.

UN pays tribute to memory of Ismat Kittani, 'master of diplomacy'

The United Nations today paid tribute to Ismat Kittani, a veteran UN official who had served five Secretaries-General, including the current UN leader, Kofi Annan.

Annan alarmed by rise in Middle East violence

Expressing shock at Sunday's suicide bombings in Jerusalem and Haifa, United Nations Secretary-General "unequivocally" condemned the terrorist acts and appealed to the Palestinian Authority to take urgent steps against the plotters.

UN arms inspectors continue preparations for work inside Iraq - report

Despite Baghdad's refusal to cooperate, United Nations weapons inspectors are continuing preparations for work inside Iraq, according to a report released today at UN Headquarters in New York.

General Assembly calls for speedy resumption of Middle East peace process

The United Nations General Assembly today adopted a resolution calling on all concerned to "ensure a successful and speedy resumption of negotiations and conclusion" of the Middle East peace process.

Middle East: Annan condemns upsurge in violence, urges restraint

The United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, today said he was troubled by the recent upsurge of violence in the Middle East, particularly attacks in northern Israel and murders of Palestinians in Gaza.

Iraq: ‘oil-for-food’ coordinator reports progress amid obstacles

The Humanitarian Coordinator for the United Nations Office of the Iraq Programme today reported mixed results from the "oil-for-food" effort, while stressing that overall, it had improved the lot of the country's people.

On Day of Solidarity with Palestinian people, UN officials urge peace talks

At a solemn meeting commemorating the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian people, United Nations officials today renewed their call for peace talks in the troubled Middle East region.