Middle East

UNESCO votes to admit Palestine as full member

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today voted to admit Palestine as a full member of the Paris-based agency.

Ban voices concern after deadly violence in Gaza and southern Israel

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed deep concern today at the recent escalation of violence and bloodshed in both southern Israel and the Gaza Strip that has reportedly left around a dozen people dead.

Ban condemns latest killings of civilian protesters in Syria

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke out today against the reported killing of dozens of protesters in Syria, urging Government authorities to immediately end their military operations against civilians and answer the people''s call for reforms.

UN panel approves over $1 billion for victims of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait

Over $1 billion was disbursed today to eight successful claimants by the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC), which settles the damage claims of those who suffered losses because of Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

In UN-backed talks, Israel and Palestinians agree to offer peace proposals

The United Nations and its diplomatic partners in the search for peace in the Middle East met separately today with Israeli and Palestinian officials in Jerusalem, with both sides agreeing to come forward with comprehensive proposals on territory and security within three months.

UN chief congratulates Tunisians on peaceful holding of ‘historic’ polls

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has congratulated the people and interim authorities of Tunisia for the peaceful holding of the first free elections in the region since the start of the Arab Spring reform movement.

Resolve shown in Middle East prisoner exchange must extend to peace talks – UN

The United Nations political chief today called on Israel and the Palestinians to show the kind of resolve to take the kind of difficult decisions seen in the recent prisoner exchange in their search for a lasting peace.

UN renews commitment to support Libya as new leaders declare liberation

The United Nations on Sunday renewed its commitment to help the people of Libya build a brighter future as the transitional authorities declared the full liberation of the North African nation, more than eight months after the popular uprising began.

UN gives a helping hand to Tunisia ahead of landmark elections

As Tunisians prepare to vote on Sunday in the first elections to be held in the wake of this year's Arab Spring reform movement, United Nations staff are in place to assist the country to stage the ballots as peacefully and smoothly as possible.

UN chief voices sadness at passing of Saudi Crown Prince

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced his sadness at the passing of Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, and paid tribute to the significant role he played in Saudi Arabia for many years.