Middle East

Gaza’s children fly high at UN-backed Summer Games

More than 3,000 students in Gaza today smashed the first of what they hope to be four world records this northern summer, by “flying” dozens of parachutes, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said today.

Security Council extends mandate of UN force in Golan Heights by six months

The Security Council today agreed to extend the mandate of the United Nations force monitoring the ceasefire in the Golan Heights between Israel and Syria for another six months, voicing grave concern that recent events have put the long-held ceasefire in jeopardy.

Lebanon: UN-backed tribunal submits indictment over Hariri murder

The United Nations-backed tribunal set up to try those alleged responsible for the 2005 assassination of the former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri today submitted to the country’s authorities a sealed indictment and arrest warrants for an unknown number of suspects.

Security Council welcomes Iraq’s assumption of oversight over development fund

The Security Council today welcomed the Iraqi Government’s assumption of full autonomy, with effect from tomorrow, over the proceeds of a development fund set up after the 2003 United States-led invasion to meet the country’s humanitarian needs, economic reconstruction and infrastructure repairs.

Wider changes in region make it crucial to resume Israeli-Palestinian talks – Ban

Citing the developments taking place in the wider Middle East, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today underscored the need for Israel and the Palestinians to urgently resume negotiations towards a two-State solution to their conflict.

International Criminal Court Prosecutor calls on Libyans to arrest Qadhafi

The primary responsibility for arresting Libyan leader Muammar al-Qadhafi and two others sought by the International Criminal Court (ICC) rests with the North African nation, the tribunal’s Chief Prosecutor said today, a day after warrants were issued for the three men for alleged crimes against humanity.

ICC issues arrest warrants for Libyan officials for alleged crimes against humanity

The International Criminal Court (ICC) today issued arrest warrants for Libyan leader Muammar al-Qadhafi, one of his sons and the country’s intelligence chief for crimes against humanity allegedly committed since the pro-democracy movement began in February.

Bahrain trials bear marks of ‘political persecution,’ says UN human rights office

The United Nations human rights office today spoke out against the harsh sentences, including life imprisonment, handed down this week to activists in Bahrain, saying their trials bear the marks of “political persecution.”

Yemen: UN experts to conduct human rights mission

The United Nations will send a mission to Yemen next week to assess its human rights situation after hundreds of persons have died this year during clashes between Government forces and protesters, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reported today.

UN chief renews calls for release of Israeli soldier abducted five years ago

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called once again for the immediate release of Israeli Staff Sergeant Gilad Shalit, who has been held captive by Palestinian militants for the past five years, and pledged the continued support of the United Nations for efforts towards this goal.