NEW YORK (Reuters) – Pakistan will “revisit” its budget after catastrophic floods left more than 4 million people homeless and cut back the country’s growth target, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Thursday.
Qureshi was speaking at a conference to publicize Pakistan’s plight as the United Nations prepared to hold a meeting later in the day to press for more contributions to its $460 million emergency appeal for flood relief in the Asian country.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations sought to head off any potential clash with Israel over a U.N. inquiry into a deadly Israeli assault on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, as a panel began work on the task on Tuesday.
A U.N. statement on an inaugural meeting between the four-man team and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed that the inquiry was “not designed to determine individual criminal responsibility.” Instead it would “examine and identify the facts, circumstances and the context of the incident.”
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon acknowledged on Monday that a key U.N. conference on climate change in Mexico at the end of this year might not produce the definitive agreement the world body is seeking.
The admission brings Ban, who ultimately is responsible for global climate change negotiations, in line with the view of many national negotiators and some of his own officials.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon opened an international inquiry on Monday into Israel’s deadly May 31 attack on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, after the Jewish state said it would cooperate with the probe.
The investigation will be led by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer as chairman and outgoing Colombian President Alvaro Uribe as vice chairman, Ban said in a statement. The panel also will have one Israeli and one Turkish member, who were not identified.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The U.N. Security Council extended the stay of peacekeepers in Sudan’s western Darfur region by another year on Friday, telling the force to focus primarily on protecting civilians and aid deliveries.
The 15-nation council unanimously approved the extension in a resolution that also condemned a recent upsurge of violence in Darfur and called on Khartoum to stop hindering the work of the joint African Union/U.N. peacekeeping force, or UNAMID.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The U.N. General Assembly asserted a global right to water and sanitation in a resolution on Wednesday, but more than 40 countries abstained, saying no such right yet existed in international law.
Some 884 million people lack access to safe drinking water, more than 2.6 million have no basic sanitation and around 1.5 million children under age 5 die each year from water- and sanitation-linked diseases, sponsors of the resolution said.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Supporters of a world arms trade treaty said significant progress had been made as nations concluded the first round of talks on Friday on a pact meant to regulate the $55 billion global weapons market.
All U.N. countries had now accepted the principle of a treaty, delegates said.
Arms control campaigners say one person every minute dies as a result of armed violence, and a convention is needed to prevent illicitly traded guns from pouring into conflict zones and fueling wars and atrocities.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The World Court’s opinion that Kosovo’s unilateral secession from Serbia was not illegal will send a chill blast through other countries that have restive minorities keen to follow Kosovo’s example.
In a 9-5 nonbinding ruling on Thursday on the 2008 secession, the Hague-based court said it considered “that general international law contains no applicable prohibition of declaration of independence.”
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is inviting nations to a high-level meeting in September on how to revive stalled international disarmament talks, U.N. diplomats and officials said on Wednesday.
The meeting, scheduled for September 24 during the annual General Assembly gathering of world leaders in New York, follows 12 years of inaction at the world’s sole multilateral disarmament negotiating forum in Geneva.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – A U.N. envoy to Lebanon said on Wednesday he believed trouble between U.N. peacekeepers and villagers in south Lebanon that has led to confrontations in recent weeks had now been sorted out.
Earlier this month, villagers seized weapons from French troops in the UNIFIL force and wounded their patrol leader.