NEW YORK, Jan 17 (Reuters) – More than half the 642,000
refugees who have sought refuge from the Syrian conflict in
neighboring countries are children and the number of people
fleeing could almost double by June, said a senior U.N. official
Panos Moumtzis, the U.N. Refugee Agency regional coordinator
for Syrian refugees, said plans were in place to help 4 million
people in Syria – 2 million who had been displaced and 2 million
who need help in their homes – and up to 1.1 million refugees.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar suggested on Wednesday that the Supreme Court was trying to boost its power by ordering the arrest of the prime minister on corruption allegations, but during a speech in New York she said the situation was not as “chaotic” as it might appear.
Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered the arrest of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Tuesday. In June, Ashraf replaced Yusuf Raza Gilani, who was disqualified by the Supreme Court in a showdown between the government and the judiciary.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Syria’s U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari described as “a cowardly terrorist act” an attack on Tuesday that killed scores of students sitting for exams at Aleppo University in Syria’s biggest city.
“This act killed 82 students and wounded 162 other students,” he told the U.N. Security Council during a debate on counterterrorism. “A cowardly terrorist act targeted the students of Aleppo University.”
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – More than 50 countries asked the U.N. Security Council on Monday to refer the Syria crisis to the International Criminal Court, which prosecutes people for genocide and war crimes, in order to send a signal to Syrian authorities.
More than 60,000 people have been killed during a 21-month-old revolt against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which began with peaceful protests but turned violent after Assad’s forces cracked down on demonstrators.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The U.N. General Assembly condemned North Korea, Iran and Syria on Thursday for widespread human rights abuses and all three countries rejected the separate resolutions adopted by the 193-member world body, slamming them as politicized.
The resolution on Syria, which was co-sponsored by Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United States, Britain, France and other Arab and Western states, received 135 votes in favor, 12 against and 36 abstentions.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – In a rare move on Wednesday, all but one of the 15 members of the U.N. Security Council made statements at the United Nations opposing Israeli plans to expand Jewish settlements around Jerusalem after the United States repeatedly blocked attempts to take stronger action.
India’s U.N. ambassador, Hardeep Singh Puri, described the four separate statements – made by the eight council members from the Non-Aligned Movement, the four European members, Russia and China – as a “Plan B” after it was clear the United States, was likely to veto a legally binding resolution on the issue.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The U.N. mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo found that 126 rapes were committed in an eastern town after Congolese troops fled there last month as rebels advanced on the provincial capital of Goma, the United Nations said on Tuesday.
Congolese troops, aided by a U.N. peacekeepers have been battling the so-called M23 rebels – who U.N. experts and Congolese officials say are backed by neighboring Rwanda – for the past eight months in the resource-rich east of the country.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The U.N. Security Council on Monday extended the work of the judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, but Russia abstained from the vote because it said the resolution did not address inefficiencies of the court.
Since it was set up in 1993, the tribunal has indicted 161 people for crimes stemming from the wars that shattered the Yugoslav federation, of whom 15 have been acquitted. Proceedings are ongoing for 31 suspects.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Syria is “genuinely worried” that some countries might equip extremist groups with chemical weapons and then claim they were used by the Syrian government, the country’s U.N. envoy said in a letter to U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council.
Syria’s U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari also accused the U.S. government of supporting “terrorists” in Syria and waging a campaign that claims Syria could use chemical weapons in the 20-month-old civil war that has killed at least 40,000.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday condemned North Korea’s missile launch and will continue discussions on how to respond to Pyongyang’s violations of a U.N. ban on North Korean ballistic missile development, the council president said.
“Members of the Security Council condemned this launch, which is a clear violation of Security Council resolutions 1718 and 1874,” Moroccan U.N. Ambassador Mohammed Loulichki, president of the Security Council this month, told reporters.