Bureau Chief, United Nations
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May 27, 2015

Syrians lose hope in face of shocking carnage, devastation: U.N.

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The people of Syria are losing hope in the fifth year of a civil war that has brought levels of death and destruction that are so extreme they should shock the world’s collective conscience, the United Nations chief said in a report on Syria.

The war has killed more than 220,000 people and left a third of the population homeless. Of the country’s roughly 23 million people, some 12.2 million are in need of humanitarian aid, including 5 million children, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his monthly report published on Wednesday.

May 23, 2015

Israel thanks U.S. for stand on Mideast nuclear arms ban at U.N.

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for blocking an Egyptian-led drive on a possible Middle East nuclear arms ban at a United Nations conference, an Israeli official said on Saturday.

It was a rare message of thanks from Netanyahu, who has repeatedly accused President Barack Obama of undermining Israel’s security by attempting to reach a nuclear deal with Iran.

May 23, 2015

Dispute over Mideast nuclear arms ban torpedoes U.N. conference

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – A month-long review conference on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty ended in failure on Friday after its members were unable to overcome disagreements on an atomic weapons ban for the Middle East, which the United States blamed on Egypt.

After four weeks of negotiations at the United Nations on ways to improve compliance with the pact, there was no consensus among its 191 signatories. U.S. Under Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller announced there was “no agreement” and accused some countries of undermining the negotiations.

May 22, 2015

West, Africa trade barbs on U.N. appeal against illicit small arms

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Western and African members of the U.N. Security Council criticized each other on Friday after the 15-nation body narrowly passed a resolution calling for global action against illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.

The resolution, which was drafted by this month’s council president, Lithuania, passed with nine votes, the minimum needed for adoption. Six countries – Russia, China, Angola, Chad, Nigeria and Venezuela – abstained, citing a failure of the resolution to address the issue of non-state actors.

May 22, 2015

West, Africa trade barbs on U.N. appeal against illicit small arms

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Western and African members of the U.N. Security Council criticized each other on Friday after the 15-nation body narrowly passed a resolution calling for global action against illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.

The resolution, which was drafted by this month’s council president, Lithuania, passed with nine votes, the minimum needed for adoption. Six countries – Russia, China, Angola, Chad, Nigeria and Venezuela – abstained, citing a failure of the resolution to address the issue of non-state actors.

May 22, 2015

Dispute over Mideast nuclear arms ban set to torpedo U.N. meeting

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – A month-long review conference on the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty appeared headed for failure on Friday after its members were unable to overcome disagreements on an atomic weapons ban for the Middle East and other issues.

After four weeks of negotiations on ways to improve compliance with the pact, there was no consensus among its 191 signatories. U.S. Under Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller announced there was “no agreement” and accused some countries of undermining the negotiations.

May 22, 2015

U.N. investigates attack on South Sudan peacekeeping site that killed 8

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations on Friday said it was launching an investigation and demanding accountability after eight civilians were killed earlier this week by shells fired at its compound in the town of Melut, near South Sudan’s Paloch oilfields.

Initially a South Sudanese official had said four people were killed on Wednesday by two mortar bombs. But U.N. deputy peacekeeping chief Edmond Mulet said the death toll was eight and that nearly two dozen shells were fired at the U.N. peacekeeping site by combatants.

May 22, 2015

U.N. raises alarm after attack on South Sudan peacekeeping site

UNITED NATIONS, May 22 (Reuters) – The United Nations on
Friday said it was launching an investigation and demanding
accountability after some 22 shells were fired at its compound
in the town of Melut near South Sudan’s Paloch oilfields, an
attack that killed eight civilians.

The incident took place earlier this week. Initially a South
Sudanese official had said four people were killed by two mortar
bombs. But U.N. deputy peacekeeping chief Edmond Mulet said the
death toll was eight and that nearly two dozen shells were fired
at the U.N. peacekeeping site by combatants.

May 22, 2015

U.S. official in Israel to discuss Mideast nuclear arms ban

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – A senior U.S. official is in Israel to discuss the possibility of a compromise that would keep alive the idea of someday banning nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, U.S. officials and U.N. diplomats said on Thursday.

Friday is the final day of a month-long review conference on the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) at United Nations headquarters in New York. The conference has bogged down on several issues, above all the failure to convene a planned 2012 conference on a Middle East weapons of mass destruction (WMD) ban.

May 20, 2015

U.N. announces Yemen talks, Iran to allow ship inspection

UNITED NATIONS/DUBAI (Reuters) – U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday announced talks between warring Yemeni parties in Geneva on May 28 to end over seven weeks of war, as Iran agreed for international inspections of an aid ship sailing to Yemen.

The moves are aimed at defusing the deepening crisis in the southern Arabian Peninsula, where Saudi-led forces killed at least 15 Houthis in the latest air strikes in a campaign to restore President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

    • About Louis

      "I am Reuters' United Nations bureau chief based in New York. My previous postings were in Berlin, Vienna, Hong Kong and Prague. I have reported from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the United States."
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