Middle East

Lebanon: President Sleiman visits UN peacekeeping operations in south

Lebanese President Michel Sleiman today reaffirmed his country’s “consensus” support for the United Nations peacekeeping operation that was strengthened in 2006 as part of the agreement that ended fighting between Israel and Hizbollah.

Israeli demolitions traumatic for Palestinian children, says UN official

A senior United Nations official today condemned the demolition of two refugee homes in East Jerusalem, stressing in particular the trauma caused to Palestinian children forced to witness their homes being destroyed.

Security Council extends mandate of UN observer force in Golan Heights

The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations force observing the ceasefire between Israel and Syria on the Golan Heights for a further six months, until 30 June 2011.

Gaza: UN official asks Israel to use restraint in responding to rocket attacks

Condemning mounting rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel, a senior United Nations official today acknowledged Israel’s right to self-defence but urged it to use maximum restraint and ensure that civilians are not endangered.

Iraq: Ban, Security Council hail new government as crucial democratic step

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council today welcomed the announcement of a new government in Baghdad, with the United Nations chief describing the move as “a major step forward in Iraq’s democratic progress,” while calling for prompt attention to national reconciliation, reconstruction and long-term stability.

Arab forum ends with call for action to protect children’s rights – UN

A United Nations-backed conference concluded in Morocco today with the adoption of a declaration calling for further action to safeguard children in the Arab world and their rights, including measures to protect them from violence and to end child labour and early marriage.

UN refugee agency voices dismay at Sweden’s forcible repatriation of Iraqis

The United Nations refugee agency today deplored Sweden’s decision this week to forcibly repatriate a group of 20 Iraqis, including five people from the minority Christian community who are originally from Baghdad.

Security Council urges Iraq to fulfil pledges to Kuwait stemming from 1990 invasion

The Security Council today called on Iraq to fulfil the commitments it has made to find Kuwaiti or third country nationals, property and archives lost in Saddam Hussein’s invasion of his small neighbour more than 20 years ago.

Ban condemns mosque suicide bombing in Iran

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemns in the strongest possible terms the suicide bombing at a mosque in Chabahar, Iran, according to a statement issued today by his spokesperson.

Iraq: Security Council ends war-related mandates in ‘milestone’ session

The Security Council today ended United Nations mandates on Iraq stemming from the 1991 and 2003 wars, including those on weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), in a move that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called a “milestone” on the country’s path to normality.