Correspondent, New York
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Jul 1, 2015

Britain, Russia at odds over U.N. Srebrenica genocide commemoration

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – A draft United Nations Security Council resolution commemorating the 1995 Srebrenica massacre does “not seek to bring up painful divisions nor point the finger of blame,” Britain said on Wednesday as Russia pushes a rival text it considers balanced.

The British-drafted resolution has angered Bosnian Serbs and Serbia, who branded it as “anti-Serb” and sent a letter of protest to the United Nations.

Jun 30, 2015

Syria mediator to brief U.N. chief next week on peace prospects

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – United Nations Syria mediator Staffan de Mistura will brief Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon next week on his talks with Syria’s warring parties and world powers on how to end the country’s four-year conflict, a U.N. spokesman said on Tuesday.

“Syria is on the brink of falling apart, putting at even further risk what is already the most unstable region in the world,” Ban said in a statement to mark the third anniversary of a Syria roadmap for peace called the Geneva Communique.

Jun 29, 2015

ICC prosecutor pleads for U.N. Security Council act on Darfur case

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Amid worsening violence in Sudan’s Darfur region, a frustrated International Criminal Court prosecutor pleaded on Monday for the United Nations Security Council to take action to ensure justice “for the long-suffering victims of atrocity crimes.”

“It is long overdue for you to heed the cries of the victims of rape and sexual abuse, torture, mass displacement and other inhumane suffering Darfurians continue to endure,” said ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.

Jun 29, 2015

U.N. threatens sanctions for violations of Mali ceasefire

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations Security Council on Monday threatened to blacklist anyone who hinders a peace deal in Mali reached by an alliance of Tuareg-led rebels and the government, and authorized the deployment of 40 military ceasefire monitors.

The rebels and the Malian government earlier in June signed the agreement, which is meant to allow the authorities to focus on tackling Islamist militants in the desert north.

Jun 29, 2015

U.N. extends Darfur peacekeeping mission amid withdrawal calls

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations Security Council on Monday extended for another year a peacekeeping mission to protect civilians and ensure aid delivery in Sudan’s remote western region of Darfur despite calls by Khartoum to withdraw the $1.1 billion operation.

Law and order have collapsed in much of Darfur, where mainly non-Arab rebels took up arms in 2003 against the Arab-led government in Khartoum, accusing it of discrimination. A joint African Union-United Nations Mission (UNAMID) deployed in 2007.

Jun 26, 2015

U.N. council told sound of helicopters has Syrians ‘watching for death’

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The sound of whirring helicopter blades fills Syrians with fear that “hell and fire” is about fall in a barrel bomb, a rescue worker told the United Nations Security Council on Friday as pressure mounts for the body to take action to stop civilian killings in Syria.

“This sound means watching for death,” said Raed Saleh, head of the Syrian Civil Defence, an organization of rescue workers known as white helmets who rush to the site of bomb and mortar attacks to dig through rubble for survivors.

Jun 26, 2015

U.S. proposes six rival South Sudan leaders for first U.N. sanctions

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United States has proposed six rival commanders from South Sudan be the first people blacklisted by the United Nations Security Council for threatening the peace and stability of the world’s newest state.

The council’s 15-member South Sudan sanctions committee operates by consensus, so if there are no objections by 3 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, a global travel ban and asset freeze will be imposed. Britain and France co-sponsored the proposal.

Jun 25, 2015

U.N. council, aid chief urge more shipments to Yemen amid famine threat

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations Security Council and U.N. aid chief Stephen O’Brien on Thursday pushed for more aid and commercial access to Yemen, where a near total blockade by Saudi Arabia has slowed shipments to the war-torn Arabian Peninsula country to a trickle.

O’Brien said 80 percent of Yemen’s 25 million people needed help and half the country was just one step from famine. Yemen imports nearly all its goods and O’Brien said commercial shipments had dropped to 15 percent of the pre-crisis levels.

Jun 25, 2015

Rights groups blast U.N. Security Council response to Syria killings

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – A coalition of some 81 human rights and aid groups blasted the United Nations Security Council on Thursday for a “woefully inadequate” response to the killing of civilians in Syria, and urged it to ensure that those responsible will be punished.

The 15-member council has been largely deadlocked over how to deal with the four-year war in Syria. Syrian ally Russia, backed by China, has vetoed several resolutions threatening action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

Jun 24, 2015

Internet firms should brief U.N. on tackling extremists: experts

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Key Internet and social media companies should brief a United Nations Security Council sanctions committee on their efforts to stop al Qaeda, Islamic State and other extremist militants spreading their ideology online, U.N. experts said.

Alexander Evans, coordinator of the team of experts, said such a briefing could stimulate a conversation among the 15-committee members on whether U.N. sanctions could be expanded to help stem Internet use by Islamist militants, but he added that the “the answers are not easy.”

    • 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."
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