Middle East

Responding to Baghdad charges, head of UN Iraq Programme defends its work

Responding to charges put forward by Baghdad, the Executive Director of the United Nations Iraq Programme has defended its record on humanitarian issues.

Secretary-General urges Israel to halt demolition of Palestinian homes

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today urged the Israeli authorities to cease the practice of destroying Palestinian homes, while calling on both sides to control their actions and re-start efforts for peace.

Annan orders probe into handling of videotape filmed by UN force in Lebanon

A United Nations spokesman confirmed today that Secretary-General Kofi Annan has ordered an internal investigation into the facts surrounding the handling of a videotape filmed last year by members of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) a few hours after an attack across the Blue Line in which three Israeli Defence Force soldiers had been taken captive by the Hizbollah.

Iraq resumes petroleum exports under United Nations 'oil-for-food' programme

Following a six-week suspension, Iraq has re-started its petroleum exports under the United Nations humanitarian programme which allows Baghdad to use a portion of its oil revenues to purchase relief goods, a United Nations spokesman announced today.

UN, Iraq reach accord to extend memorandum on oil-for-food programme

The United Nations and Iraq today extended the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) governing the "oil-for-food" programme which allows Baghdad to sell its petroleum and use a portion of the proceeds to purchase humanitarian relief goods.

UN studying Israeli request for unedited tape filmed by UN force in Lebanon

The United Nations is studying a request by Israel for the unedited version of a videotape sought in connection with the abduction of three Israeli soldiers last year, a spokesman for the world body said today, adding that the UN maintained its offer to show an edited version of the recording.

UN to let Israel, Lebanon view videotape sought in connection with abductions

A senior United Nations official said today that the UN would provide Israel and Lebanon with the opportunity to view a videotape sought by the Israeli authorities in connection with the abduction of three Israeli soldiers last year.

Annan calls on Israel to halt policy of 'targeted assassinations'

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on Israel to halt its practice of "targeted assassinations," urging both sides in the Middle East conflict to reject violence and pursue a political solution to their dispute.

Iraq: Security Council extends 'oil-for-food' programme for five months

Determined to improve the humanitarian situation in Iraq, the Security Council voted unanimously today to extend its Iraq "oil-for-food" programme for a new period of 150 days, beginning at 00.01 hours Eastern Daylight Time on 4 July 2001.

Concerned over events in Lebanon, Security Council members call for restraint

Members of the Security Council today voiced concern at recent events in southern Lebanon, expressing hope that the parties will control their actions in order to avoid a worsening of the situation.