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Oct 9, 2015

Israel, Iran trade barbs at U.N. disarmament panel meeting

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Israel and Iran exchanged sharp criticisms at a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly’s disarmament committee on Friday, accusing each other of being a major destabilizing force in the Middle East.

Israeli Ambassador Alon Roth-Snir told the United Nations’ First Committee that “Iran remains the most significant threat to the security of the Middle East and beyond.”

Oct 9, 2015

U.N. council OKs mission against human trafficking off Libya

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations Security Council on Friday authorized European Union naval operations for one year to seize and dispose of vessels operated by human traffickers in the high seas off Libya.

The 15-member council adopted the British-drafted resolution with 14 votes in favor. Venezuela abstained.

Oct 8, 2015

U.N.’s Ban rejects calls to keep refugee chief amid crisis

UNITED NATIONS/GENEVA (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has disregarded a request from a large number of member states to keep the U.N. high commissioner for refugees in his job for an extra year to cope with the worsening refugee crisis, diplomats said.

Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres was elected by the U.N. General Assembly in 2005 and re-elected in 2010. Earlier this year, the assembly voted to extend his mandate by 6-1/2 months to Dec. 31, on Ban’s recommendation.

Oct 8, 2015

U.N. to audit its dealings with entities tied to alleged bribe scheme

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has ordered an audit of all dealings the organization had with two entities that are the subjects of a U.S. bribery probe, a U.N. spokesman said on Thursday.

Ban asked the Office of Internal Oversight Services to audit all of the U.N.’s interactions with the Global Sustainability Foundation and the Sun Kian Ip Group, as well as the use of any funds received from them, spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

Oct 6, 2015

U.N. to hold off on separate Afghan bombing probe for now

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations said on Monday it would wait for the results of U.S., NATO and Afghan investigations into a deadly air strike on a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) hospital in Afghanistan before deciding whether to support an independent probe.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday called for an “impartial” investigation of the incident but he stopped short of saying that should be done by the U.N. His spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Monday it was too soon to say if an additional probe would be necessary. MSF and the U.N. human rights chief have said the incident could be a war crime.

Oct 2, 2015

Syria doubts value of talks, air strikes useless without Damascus

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem on Friday questioned the value of political negotiations and said air strikes against militants in his country are useless if they are not coordinated with his government.

“Terrorism cannot be fought only from the air, and all of the previous operations to combat it have only served its spread and outbreak,” Moualem told the United Nations General Assembly.

Oct 1, 2015

Israel says won’t allow Iran to join ‘nuclear weapons club’

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the United Nations on Thursday that his country would not allow Iran “to break in, to sneak in, or to walk into the nuclear weapons club.”

Speaking at the annual gathering of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly, Netanyahu reiterated Israeli criticism of a deal between Iran and major world powers aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear program. He said that, once international sanctions are lifted, “unleashed and unmuzzled, Iran will go on the prowl.”

Oct 1, 2015
via FaithWorld

Tension over Al-Aqsa mosque could lead to religious war, Abbas tells U.N


(Israeli police officers take positions on the roof of al-Aqsa mosque during clashes with Palestinians in Jerusalem’s Old City September 28, 2015. REUTERS/Amir Cohen)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday accused Israel of sabotaging U.S. efforts to broker peace and said Israeli security operations at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem could lead to a religious war.

Sep 30, 2015

Dozens of nations back French appeal to limit use of U.N. veto

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Dozens of nations signed on to a French proposal on Wednesday that the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council refrain from exercising their veto in cases of mass atrocities and genocide.

Some 75 countries in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia backed the proposal, and French officials say they expect more nations to join. There are 193 U.N. member nations.

Sep 30, 2015

U.S. tells UN wants to see boost in shipping into war-torn Yemen

UNITED NATIONS, Sept 30 (Reuters) – The United States has
told the United Nations that it wants commercial shipping to
conflict-torn Yemen to increase and cautioned that vessels
should only be inspected when there are “reasonable grounds” to
suspect illicit arms shipments.

The remarks from U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power in a letter
to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, seen by Reuters on
Wednesday, appeared to be an indirect dig at Saudi Arabia, whose
coalition fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen has been
running naval inspections that have caused shipping to Yemen to
grind to a halt.

    • 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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