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Sep 10, 2015

U.N. nations approve principles for sovereign debt restructuring

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday approved what it described as global “basic principles” for sovereign debt restructuring processes to improve the global financial system, an initiative that was inspired by Argentina’s debt crisis.

There were 136 votes in favor, six against and 41 abstentions in the vote on the resolution, which was submitted to the 193-nation General Assembly by South Africa.

Sep 10, 2015

British, French, German leaders defend Iran nuclear deal

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The leaders of Britain, France and Germany on Thursday defended the Iran nuclear deal agreed in July between Iran and major powers as the debate in U.S. Congress heated up due to fierce opposition to the agreement among Republican lawmakers.

Under the July 14 agreement, sanctions on Iran will be lifted in exchange for at least a decade of curbs on Tehran’s nuclear program, which Western powers and their allies fear has been a cover for Tehran to acquire the capability to produce atomic weapons. Iran denies that allegation.

Sep 10, 2015

After Russian delay, UN council okays probe of Syria gas attack

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations Security Council on Thursday agreed to give a green light to launching an international investigation aimed at assigning blame for chemical weapon attacks in Syria, council diplomats said on Thursday.

The official start of the joint inquiry by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was delayed due to objections by Russia, which had wanted to expand the investigation to include alleged attacks by Islamic State in neighboring Iraq, diplomats said.

Sep 9, 2015

Vatican undecided if will fly its flag next to Palestine’s at U.N.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Vatican’s chief delegate to the United Nations on Wednesday said it was unclear if the Holy See would choose to fly its flag alongside the Palestinians’ at U.N. headquarters if a Palestinian draft resolution is approved this week as expected.

The 193-nation U.N. General Assembly is due to vote on Thursday on a Palestinian draft resolution that says the flags of non-member observer states “shall be raised at (U.N.) Headquarters and United Nations Offices following the flags of the member states of the United Nations.”

Sep 9, 2015

Government militia guilty of atrocities in Darfur -rights group

UNITED NATIONS, Sept 9 (Reuters) – A government militia in
Sudan’s conflict-torn Darfur region has been guilty of killings
and mass rapes of civilians over the past year and a half, Human
Rights Watch said in a new report published on Wednesday.

The Darfur conflict began in 2003 when mainly non-Arab
tribes took up arms against the Arab-led government in Khartoum,
accusing it of discrimination. The mass killings of a decade ago
have eased, but the insurgency continues and Khartoum has
sharply escalated attacks on rebel groups over the past year.

Sep 4, 2015

Europe should have seen refugee crisis coming: U.N. official

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – European countries were warned repeatedly about the refugee crisis now playing out on their doorstep and the flood of war-weary, desperate people into Europe should surprise no one, a senior U.N. official said on Friday.

Ivan Simonovic, assistant U.N. secretary-general for human rights, spoke to reporters in New York about the escalating migration crisis in Europe, saying it would not subside anytime soon.

Sep 4, 2015

German U.N. official seen as favorite for Libya post: envoys

UNITED NATIONS/GENEVA (Reuters) – Martin Kobler, a German United Nations official currently overseeing the mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is the top candidate to take over as head of the world body’s mission to Libya, U.N. diplomats said.

If U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon decides to appoint Kobler to head the mission in conflict-torn Libya, he would replace Bernardino Leon, who the diplomats said was expected to step down soon and may have political ambitions in his home country of Spain.

Sep 3, 2015

Efforts underway in case of detained U.S. journalist: Iran lawmaker

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Efforts are underway that will hopefully resolve the case of Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, who was arrested over a year ago and charged with espionage, a senior Iranian lawmaker said on Thursday.

Rezaian’s lawyer was quoted by Iranian media on Aug. 10 as saying that a verdict in his trial could be issued within a week, though so far no verdict has been announced.

Sep 3, 2015

U.N. experts accuse Chad of abuses in Central Africa conflict

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Chadian security forces have been guilty of numerous abuses against civilians in the conflict in Central African Republic, including indiscriminate border killings, a panel that monitors U.N. sanctions said in a confidential report seen by Reuters.

Central African Republic (CAR), a former French colony, descended into chaos in March 2013 when predominantly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power, sparking reprisals by “anti-balaka” Christian militias who drove tens of thousands of Muslims from the south in a de facto partition of the landlocked country.

Sep 3, 2015

Iran parliament debate on nuclear deal will be heated: speaker

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The speaker of Iran’s parliament on Thursday predicted that the debate among Iranian lawmakers on the nuclear agreement between Tehran and major powers will likely be more dramatic than in the U.S. Congress, where Republicans have sought to kill the deal.

Earlier on Thursday Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said he favored a parliamentary vote on the nuclear deal while calling for sanctions against Tehran to be lifted completely rather than suspended.

    • 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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