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Apr 24, 2015

U.N. invites Syrian parties to Geneva peace talks in May

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations envoy to Syria said on Friday he will begin meeting in May with the country’s government, opposition groups, and regional powers including Iran to assess by the end of June whether there is any hope brokering an end to the war.

Staffan de Mistura briefed the U.N. Security Council on the latest bid to find a political solution to the 4-year conflict that has killed some 220,000 people, displaced an estimated 7.6 million and forced nearly 4 million to flee the country.

Apr 24, 2015

U.N. aid chief urges Syria sanctions, Jolie pleads for refugee help

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations aid chief urged the Security Council on Friday to impose an arms embargo and sanctions in Syria for violations of humanitarian law as special envoy Angelina Jolie pleaded with council members to visit millions of Syrian refugees.

The aid official, Valerie Amos, also appealed to the council to mandate the United Nations’ commission of inquiry on Syria to specifically investigate besieged areas, the militarization of schools and hospitals and attacks on those facilities.

Apr 23, 2015

Experts tell U.N. council: Feeling left out drives youth to Islamic State

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Most European youth who travel to Iraq and Syria to fight with Islamic State militants do so because they do not feel at home in Europe, academics told a United Nations Security Council meeting chaired Thursday by Jordan’s 20-year-old crown prince.

Crown Prince Al Hussein Bin Abdullah II is the youngest person to chair the 15-member Security Council, said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The council met to discuss the role of youth in countering violent extremism.

Apr 21, 2015

Britain, France urge UN action on Middle East, NZ drafting text

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Britain and France urged the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday to set a framework to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians as council member New Zealand said it had started working on a draft resolution to kick-start the process.

France said last month that it planned to begin talks on a draft text to lay out “parameters” for ending the Middle East conflict and that it hoped to win over the United States, which has traditionally shielded its ally Israel from any U.N. action.

Apr 16, 2015

Syria gas attack video moves U.N. Security Council envoys to tears

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Members of the United Nations Security Council teared up on Thursday when Syrian doctors showed a video of failed attempts to resuscitate three children after a chlorine gas attack in March, prompting renewed calls for accountability.

The children, aged 1, 2 and 3, their parents and grandmother were killed in the March 16 attack on Sarmin village in northwest Idlib province, said Dr. Mohamed Tennari, director of the field hospital where the family was taken.

Apr 15, 2015

U.N. Yemen envoy to step down, may be replaced by Mauritanian: source

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. special adviser to Yemen Jamal Benomar is planning on stepping down from his job and U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon is considering appointing a Mauritanian diplomat to the post as the civil war escalates, a U.N. diplomatic source said on Wednesday.

Benomar, a veteran Moroccan diplomat, had recently irked Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations for his handling of so far unsuccessful peace talks between Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen and the Western and Gulf Arab-backed Yemeni government, Western U.N. diplomats said on condition of anonymity.

Apr 14, 2015

U.N. imposes arms embargo targeting Yemen Houthis; Russia abstains

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday blacklisted the son of Yemen’s former president and a Houthi leader, and effectively imposed an arms embargo on the Iran-allied Houthi rebels who rule most of the country.

The council voted 14 in favor. Russia abstained, saying some of its proposals for the resolution, drafted by council member Jordan and Gulf Arab states, were not included.

Apr 13, 2015

U.N. vote on Tuesday on Yemen arms embargo; Russia stance unclear

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The U.N. Security Council is due to vote on Tuesday on a resolution to blacklist the son of Yemen’s former president and a Houthi leader and effectively impose an arms embargo on the rebels who rule most of the country, diplomats said.

It was unclear how Russia would vote on the draft by council member Jordan and Gulf Arab states. Russia had unsuccessfully suggested during negotiations that the text call for an immediate ceasefire and that an arms embargo include President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government, diplomats said.

Apr 10, 2015

U.N. vote as early as Friday on Yemen arms embargo: diplomats

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The U.N. Security Council could vote as early as Friday on a resolution to blacklist the son of the Yemen’s former president and a Houthi leader and effectively impose an arms embargo on the rebels that rule most of the country, diplomats said.

Council member Jordan and Gulf Arab states finalized their draft text on Thursday. Diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the resolution may be put to a vote in the 15-member Security Council on Friday or Saturday.

Apr 9, 2015

U.N. chief urges Syria mediator to focus on political process

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday he had asked his Syria mediator to “focus much more to re-launch a political process” in a bid to end the four-year civil war that has killed some 220,000 people and displaced millions.

Mediator Staffan de Mistura had been working since October on a local truce in the northern city of Aleppo and announced on Feb. 17 that the Syrian government was willing to suspend its aerial bombardment and shelling for six weeks to test the plan.

    • About Michelle

      "I am a Reuters correspondent at the United Nations in New York. I have also covered general news for Reuters in the United States, Afghanistan, Australia, South East Asia and the Pacific. Before joining Reuters more than a decade ago, I had a two year stint at The Scotsman newspaper in Edinburgh, Scotland and began my career at The Border Mail newspaper in Albury/Wodonga in Australia."
      Joined Reuters:
      2002
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