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May 29, 2015

At U.N., states urged to do more to stop flow of foreign fighters

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Interior ministers from members of the United Nations Security Council on Friday voiced concern that some countries were not doing enough to prevent their citizens from traveling abroad and joining militant groups like Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

In a move sparked by Islamic State’s military conquests, the 15-nation Security Council adopted a resolution last September at a meeting chaired by U.S. President Barack Obama demanding that all states “prevent and suppress” the recruitment and travel of militant fighters to foreign conflicts.

May 28, 2015

Lithuania minister urges pressure on Russia to stop arms at Ukraine border

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Lithuania’s foreign minister confirmed on Thursday reports that Russia has been massing troops and weaponry near the border of Ukraine and urged pressure on Moscow until it stops supporting Ukrainian rebels.

Reuters reported this week that Russia’s army was massing troops and hundreds of pieces of weaponry including mobile rocket launchers, tanks and artillery at a makeshift base near the border with Ukraine.

May 28, 2015

U.N. eyes keeping Israel off armed violations list – sources

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is leaning toward not including Israel on an annual list of states responsible for violating children’s rights in armed conflicts, despite proposals to include it, U.N. diplomatic sources said.

Israel’s foreign ministry has denied pressuring Ban, but several diplomatic sources familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity that the Israelis were lobbying his office hard to ensure they were not on the list.

May 28, 2015

Outgoing U.N. aid chief paints harrowing portrait of Syria war

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations’ outgoing humanitarian chief on Thursday painted a harrowing portrait of savagery in Syria’s civil war, now in its fifth year, and urged the Security Council to take collective action to put an end to the carnage.

The Syrian war has killed more than 220,000 people. Of the country’s roughly 23 million people, some 12.2 million are in need of humanitarian aid, including 5 million children.

May 28, 2015

U.N. council has first-ever briefing on rights in Myanmar

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations Security Council on Thursday held its first closed-door briefing on the human rights situation in Myanmar, focusing on the dire situation of the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority, council diplomats said.

U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein briefed the council via video link in a meeting that U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power welcomed on her Twitter feed as a “historic first” for the 15-nation body.

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.

    • 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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