Middle East

More Palestinians die after being denied access through Israeli checkpoints, UN reports

An increasing number of Palestinians have died after being denied passage through Israeli checkpoints, according to the latest United Nations humanitarian report on the occupied Palestinian territory.

Addressing UN, Lebanese President urges open hearing on planned Hariri tribunal

Open hearings on the proposed Special Tribunal to try those suspected of involvement in the February 2005 assassination of Lebanon’s Prime Minister Rafik Hariri could help quell controversy, the country’s President told the United Nations General Assembly today.

Palestinians ready for upcoming Middle East peace meeting, leader tells UN

The Palestinian Authority is committed to the success of an upcoming Middle East peace meeting, its President, Mahmoud Abbas, told the United Nations General Assembly today.

Murder of TV reporter in Baghdad is attack on human rights of Iraqi people – UN

The head of the United Nations body mandated to protect press freedom today condemned the latest murder of a journalist in Iraq, calling it “an unacceptable attack on the human rights of the people” in a country where over 150 media workers are reported to have been killed since the United States-led invasion in 2003.

Security Council urges free and timely election of new Lebanese president

The United Nations Security Council today called for a free and timely presidential election in Lebanon, which was scheduled to be held this week but has been postponed until later next month.

Iraq’s Prime Minister appeals for global aid to help national reconciliation

The Prime Minister of Iraq today appealed to national leaders meeting for the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate to help the country as it embarks on a road toward national reconciliation, which he stressed is essential for the stability of the region and the world.

UN mercenary experts voice concern over indiscriminate shootings in Iraq

The United Nations Working Group on the use of mercenaries today expressed its concern over the 16 September “indiscriminate” shooting – claiming the lives of more than 10 Iraqi civilians – in a heavily-populated Baghdad neighbourhood involving a foreign private security company.

At UN debate, Emir of Qatar calls for successful outcome to Doha trade talks

The Emir of Qatar today called for action to achieve a successful outcome to the Doha round of trade talks during an address today to the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate.

Iranian President tells General Assembly that nuclear issue is now closed

The issue of Iran’s nuclear activities is a matter only for the United Nations atomic watchdog now and not the Security Council, the country’s President told the General Assembly today as he accused “arrogant powers” of abusing the Council to prevent Iran enjoying its rights and entitlements.

Palestinian institutions need urgent rebuilding, says Ban Ki-moon

Palestinian institutions have been so weakened by the crises, fiscal uncertainty and political divisions of recent years that they will have to be rebuilt and reformed if they are to lay the foundations of a credible future state, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a meeting today of key donors to the Palestinian people.