Middle East

In South Lebanon, Ban Ki-moon stresses need for eventual permanent ceasefire

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today visited South Lebanon, where he voiced hope that a cessation of hostilities in place since the end of last year’s 34-day war between Israel and Hizbollah could be transformed into a permanent ceasefire.

Ban Ki-moon urges Lebanon’s leaders to seek national reconciliation through dialogue

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on Lebanon’s leaders to engage in dialogue to promote national reconciliation as he continued his first visit to the Middle East as the world’s top diplomat.

UN Drugs and Crime Office partners with Dubai to tackle trafficking and abuse

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Dubai Police today signed a project to tackle drug abuse and illicit trafficking in the United Arab Emirates and regionally.

Arriving in Lebanon, Ban Ki-moon says dialogue is key to national unity

Continuing a diplomatic tour of the Middle East, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Beirut today, where he said dialogue and compromise are key to Lebanon’s national unity.

Security Council calls for ‘early resolution’ of Iran’s detention of British sailors

The Security Council today called for an early resolution of the row over Iran’s detention of 15 British marines and sailors, voicing grave concern at the situation and calling for their release, while Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon discussed the issue with Iran’s Foreign Minister.

Deadly sewage spill in Gaza prompts UN relief operation

United Nations humanitarian agencies have begun offering aid to the victims of yesterday’s sewage disaster in the Gaza Strip, where the wall of a cesspool collapsed and waste flooded the nearby village of Um Al Nasser, killing at least four people, injuring many others and destroying or damaging dozens of homes.

Ban Ki-moon calls on Arab leaders to renew backing for Middle East peace plan

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged leaders meeting at the Summit of the League of Arab States to re-affirm their commitment to the Arab Peace Initiative, which he called one of the pillars of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, while stressing that the world must build on the “new stirrings of potential” to resolve the long-running conflict in the Middle East.

Security Council extends mandate of UN commission probing Hariri murder

The United Nations Security Council today extended for one year the mandate of the International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) probing the 2005 terrorist attack that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 others.

Ban Ki-moon arrives in Riyadh on eve of Arab League Summit

Continuing a diplomatic tour of the Middle East to try to address the region’s hotspots, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has arrived in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, where tomorrow he will address the Summit of the League of Arab States.

Human Rights Council calls for fact-finding missions to probe alleged Israeli abuses

The United Nations Human Rights Council today adopted a resolution without a vote which called for two urgent fact-finding missions to be dispatched to the occupied Palestinian territory, voicing concern that previous attempts to investigate potential human rights abuses had been hindered by Israel.