Middle East

Middle East: Annan "deeply disturbed" by escalation of attacks across Blue Line

Concerned by recent escalation of military operations across the line of withdrawal between Lebanon and Israel, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today emphasized the need to respect the Blue Line and stressed that it was vital for the governments and parties concerned to act with "utmost restraint."

Middle East: Annan calls for urgent steps to stem violence, build confidence

Reacting to the escalating Israeli-Palestinian violence, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called for urgent steps to control the situation and bring the parties back to the negotiating table.

UN reports sharp increase in Iraqi petroleum exports under oil-for-food plan

Baghdad's United Nations-administered oil exports surged to an average of 2.29 million barrels a day last week, up from 1.8 million the previous week, according to statistics released today by the UN office overseeing the effort.

United Nations, Francophone countries jointly sponsor Internet seminar in Beirut

The United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) and the International Organization of La Francophonie are co-sponsoring a four-day training seminar on "Internet Use and the Media," now underway in Beirut.

Ongoing Middle East violence makes need for talks ever more urgent - Annan

Secretary-General Kofi Annan stressed today that the ongoing Middle East violence made the need for peace talks ever more urgent and said that he continued to be in contact with all concerned parties in an effort to end clashes and resume negotiations.

IAEA remains ready to resume verification work in Iraq: report

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) remains prepared to resume its inspections in Iraq on short notice in order to verify the status of the country's past clandestine nuclear programme, according to the Agency's latest progress report, which was released today at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Meeting in Beirut, UN agencies discuss regional development, peace-building

Over a dozen United Nations agencies meeting in Lebanon today discussed the need for economic and social development in order to consolidate peace-building efforts in the region.

In a bid to prevent diversion of Iraqi oil, UN monitors issue notification forms

In an effort to prevent Iraqi crude from being diverted to unauthorized destinations, United Nations oil monitors have begun issuing notification forms to be signed by those in charge of vessels loading the petroleum.

UN's Iraq-Kuwait mission promotes calm and should be maintained - report

Carrying out its tasks "smoothly," the United Nations UN Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM) is contributing to calm along the border and should be maintained, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a report released today.