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Jun 19, 2015

Despite obstacles, chances grow for final Iran nuclear deal

NEW YORK/ANKARA/PARIS (Reuters) – Iran is trying to avoid detailed commitments. The French are sticking to their tough line. And U.S. President Barack Obama faces a battle to sell any deal to a skeptical Congress.

    Despite those and other obstacles, negotiators appear increasingly likely to clinch an historic deal to restrict Iran’s nuclear program for at least a decade in exchange for relief from sanctions, Western and Iranian officials said.

Jun 18, 2015

Israel accuses U.N. children’s rights envoy of ‘improper conduct’

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Israel has accused a senior U.N. official of misconduct in preparing a report that harshly criticized the Israeli army over the 2014 Gaza war while leaving it off a blacklist of states and armed groups that violate children’s rights in conflict.

The U.N. Security Council will hold a public debate on Thursday to discuss the latest United Nations report on children and armed conflict.

Jun 16, 2015

U.S. ‘not fixated’ on Iran answering queries on atomic work: Kerry

By Louis Charbonneau

(Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday suggested that Washington would not insist that Iran answer unresolved questions about its past nuclear activities because the United States already knows exactly what Tehran has done.

U.S. officials have previously said Iran must answer a set of queries the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has about past Iranian activities that may have been related to atomic weapons research and that some sanctions relief under a possible nuclear deal would depend on resolving those questions.

Jun 16, 2015

U.S. not keeping silent on Iran sanctions violations: envoy to U.N

By Louis Charbonneau

(Reuters) – The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations on Tuesday rejected suggestions by a U.N. panel that Washington has kept silent about Iranian sanctions violations in order to avoid disrupting fragile negotiations on a nuclear deal with Tehran.

The U.N. Security Council’s Panel of Experts on Iran said in April that it has received no new confirmed reports of Iranian violations despite several media reports of Iranian weapons shipments to Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and Hezbollah and Hamas militants in violation of a U.N. embargo.

Jun 15, 2015

U.N. likely to wait for U.S. Congress before moving on Iran deal: envoys

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – If Iran and world powers reach a nuclear deal, the United Nations Security Council will likely delay for at least a month action to lift U.N. nuclear sanctions on Tehran so U.S. Congress can review the agreement, officials said.

Western officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was an unwelcome development but politically necessary since Congress, dominated by Republicans critical of President Barack Obama’s engagement with Iran, does not want the 15-member council to speak first.

Jun 11, 2015

Eritrea denies U.N. allegation of indefinite national service

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Eritrea on Thursday denied that it subjects its citizens to indefinite national service or kills people trying to flee the country, two of the most serious allegations among the findings of a year-long United Nations investigation.

The 484-page U.N. Commission of Inquiry report, published earlier this week, said the government of Eritrea may have committed crimes against humanity, including extrajudicial killings, widespread torture, sexual slavery and enforced labor.

Jun 10, 2015

Attacks on peacekeepers, civilians in Darfur increasing: U.N.

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations on Wednesday warned that violent attacks on international peacekeepers and civilians in Sudan’s conflict-torn Darfur region have been increasing while tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee the fighting.

U.N. officials and diplomats say the Sudanese government has become increasingly confrontational toward the United Nations and the West over the joint U.N.-African Union mission to Darfur (UNAMID), which Khartoum wants shut.

Jun 8, 2015

U.N. keeps Israel, Hamas off children’s rights blacklist; raps Israel army

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations on Monday left Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas off its blacklist of states and armed groups that violate children’s rights during conflicts, but criticized Israel over its 2014 military operations.

U.N. special envoy for children and armed conflict, Leila Zerrougui of Algeria, had included Israel’s army – known as the IDF – and Hamas in a draft of the report she had sent to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Ban had the final say on who was included on the blacklist, which was distributed to Security Council members on Monday.

Jun 6, 2015

U.N. report cites alleged Israel crimes against children, no consensus on listing

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. agencies in Israel and the Palestinian territories reported an alarming number of child victims in last year’s war in the Gaza Strip but were split on whether Israel should be put on a list of violators of children’s rights, a U.N. document shows.

Their 22-page confidential country report, obtained by Reuters on Friday, was prepared by United Nations agencies on the ground for submission to the U.N. special envoy for children and armed conflict as she readied a draft of the annual list.

Jun 5, 2015

U.N. report cites Israel crimes against children, no consensus on listing

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. agencies in Israel and the Palestinian territories reported an alarming number of child victims in last year’s war in the Gaza Strip but were split on whether Israel should be put on a list of violators of children’s rights, a U.N. document said.

The 22-page confidential country report, obtained by Reuters on Friday, was prepared by United Nations agencies on the ground for submission to the U.N. special envoy for children and armed conflict as she readied a draft of the annual list.

    • 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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