Middle East

UN against death penalty but understands desire for justice in Hussein case – envoy

Reacting to the imposition of the death sentence against Saddam Hussein, who ruled Iraq with terror for nearly a quarter of a century until his ouster in 2003, the senior United Nations envoy there voiced understanding about the desire for justice among many people but reiterated the world body's longstanding opposition to capital punishment.

Security for Palestinians in Baghdad worsens as Shiite militia take over homes – UN

Security for predominantly Sunni Palestinians in Baghdad has deteriorated over the past week amid increasing fears of attack as members of the Mahdi army Shiite militia are reported to be taking over apartments in a mainly Shia area, the United Nations refugee agency said today.

UN atomic watchdog chief calls for talks to resolve Iranian nuclear issue

The head of the United Nations atomic watchdog agency has called for negotiation and mutual accommodation to achieve a long-term solution to the issue of Iran’s nuclear programme after the Security Council imposed sanctions and called for a full and sustained suspension of the country’s uranium enrichment activities.

Security Council imposes sanctions on Iran over uranium enrichment

Capping months of intensive negotiations, the United Nations Security Council today unanimously decided to impose a set of sanctions against Iran in response to its uranium-enrichment activities, which Tehran says are for peaceful purposes but which other countries contend are driven by military ambitions.

UN voices fresh alarm at attacks on Palestinians in Iraq

The United Nations refugee agency today voiced growing concern for 15,000 Palestinians remaining in Iraq “living in a climate of constant fear,” after a group of 41 of them fleeing Baghdad to escape increasing violence, harassment and targeted killings was blocked at the border with Syria.

UN and other members of diplomatic ‘Quartet’ back continued aid to Palestinians

Members of the diplomatic ‘Quartet’ on the Middle East – the United Nations, the United States, the Russian Federation and the European Union (EU) – today endorsed the continuation of a stop-gap measure for providing aid directly to the Palestinian people.

UN releases rules on Oil-for-Food inquiry documents to help States still investigating

To facilitate continuing investigations by Member States into the findings of the Independent Inquiry Committee (IIC) that examined the scandal-ridden Iraq Oil-for-Food Programme, the United Nations today released rules regarding the management, preservation and use of the myriad documents and files produced by the Committee.

Intra-Palestinian violence in Gaza endangers UN humanitarian operations

Armed clashes between rival Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip are endangering United Nations humanitarian operations “and taking a population that has been living in abject misery for the entire year to breaking point,” the UN agency that tends to Palestinian refugees has warned.

Iraq: UN envoy calls for unity in face of bombings, kidnappings, ‘indiscriminate terror’

The top United Nations envoy to Iraq today called on all Iraqis to unite in the face of the recent surge of violence, voicing dismay at last week’s car-bombing in Baghdad in which scores of innocent people were killed or injured, and yesterday’s kidnapping of dozens of people from an Iraqi Red Crescent office.

UN probe into murder of former Lebanese leader nears sensitive stage – inquiry chief

The head of the United Nations probe into last year’s assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri told the Security Council that his investigation into the deadly explosion and 14 other bombings is “approaching a sensitive and complicated phase.”