Middle East

New hope for Iraq after years of war, Secretary-General tells Compact meeting

Iraq is making “notable progress” in the security, political and economic fields, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the annual review conference of the International Compact with Iraq today.

Middle East: positive moves but situation still fragile, says UN official

A senior United Nations official today welcomed recent political progress in Lebanon and the start of indirect talks between Israel and Syria, but cautioned that there are still serious challenges to achieve a wider peace in the Middle East.

Secretary-General departs for Sweden to attend Iraq Compact meeting

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is heading today to Sweden to attend the annual review conference of the Iraq Compact, the five-year plan to promote peace and development in the violence-wracked nation.

Economic integration can spur development in Western Asia – Secretary-General

Closer economic integration can help the Western Asian region overcome recent conflicts and political tensions and also spur progress towards internationally agreed anti-poverty goals, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today.

UN food agency receives funding boost to feed 750,000 displaced Iraqis

Thanks to a $40 million funding boost from the Iraqi Government, the United Nations World Food Programme will be able to feed up to 750,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) for the next six months.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, professor to visit Gaza on UN-backed mission

An independent United Nations fact-finding mission – by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Professor Christine Chinkin of the London School of Economics – will visit Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip.

Lebanese political accord offers ‘a new beginning,’ Secretary-General says

Lebanon’s political leadership must not lose the momentum created by last week’s agreement ending the protracted stand-off in the country, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, calling the accord “a new beginning” to be grasped by all sides.

UN regional arm for Western Asia meets on financing for development

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) today kicked off its 25th session today in the Yemeni capital Sana'a, with the ministerial level participants focusing on financing for development in the region.

Secretary-General welcomes 'historic' election of Lebanese President

United Nations Secretary-General today congratulated the Lebanese people on the election of President Michel Suleimane, ending the deadlock that has endured in the Middle Eastern nation since last November.

Conditions worsening for workers in occupied Arab territories, UN report finds

The situation for workers in the occupied Arab territories is deteriorating, with rates of working poverty rising, genuine employment declining and individual frustration growing, according to the latest annual report on the issue from the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO).