Middle East

Annan recommends extending UN force in Israel-Syria sector

Describing the situation in the Middle East as "potentially dangerous" pending a comprehensive settlement, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has recommended extending for six months the United Nations operation supervising the disengagement of Syrian and Israeli forces.

Iraq: UN's oil-for-food programme reports on progress, obstacles

The United Nations humanitarian effort in Iraq -- known as the "oil-for-food" programme -- has improved the lives of the country's people, but more remains to be done to meet their needs, according to a report by Secretary-General Kofi Annan released today.

Middle East: Annan says release of Mitchell Commission report offers hope

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said that the release of a fact-finding report on the events that sparked the latest Middle East crisis could spur positive developments in the volatile region.

International workshop urges rapid demining in Lebanon

A two-day workshop on ridding Lebanon of thousands of deadly landmines littering the territory opened today in Beirut amid calls for urgent action to begin mine clearance in the country's south.

Annan "deeply disturbed" by disproportionate Israeli response to suicide attack

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said he was deeply disturbed" by the disproportionate Israeli response to today's appalling terrorist attack" in the coastal city of Netanya.

Security Council to continue consultations on request for meeting on Middle East

Following a request from Arab countries to call an immediate open meeting on the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, members of the United Nations Security Council held closed-door consultations this morning and agreed to continue discussions on the matter.

Iraq: Annan would welcome measures to ease impact of sanctions on civilians

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said he would welcome any measures that would ease the impact of sanctions on ordinary Iraqis, stressing that it is up to the Security Council to take action on the matter.

UN panel pays out $760 million for losses from Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait

The United Nations Compensation Commission, which processes and pays compensation for losses resulting from Iraq's 1990 invasion and occupation of Kuwait, disbursed today over $760 million in damages.

Lebanon: Security Council members voice concern over breaches of Blue Line

Members of the Security Council today expressed concern over recent breaches of the withdrawal line in Lebanon and urged all sides to control their actions there, according to the President of the 15-member body.

Iraq: Security Council committee places more humanitarian contracts on hold

Over the past week, the Security Council committee monitoring the sanctions against Iraq had placed more humanitarian contracts on hold than it released, according to the statistics released today by the United Nations office running the oil-for-food programme.