Middle East

UN investigates civilian obstruction of peacekeepers in southern Lebanon

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has reported that a patrol of peacekeepers was obstructed on Tuesday afternoon by a group of civilians who used motor vehicles to block a road near the village of Ramyah.

UN Security Council action on Palestinian statehood blocked

Falling short of the required number of positive votes and faced with a veto from one of its permanent members, the United Nations Security Council today failed to adopt a draft resolution that would have affirmed the “urgent need” to reach within 12 months a peaceful solution to the situation in the Middle East and would have paved the way to a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Bahrain must release arrested opposition leader, guarantee fair trial – UN rights office

The United Nations human rights office is urging Bahrain to immediately release opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman as well as all other persons convicted or detained for “merely exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of expression and assembly.”

UN experts urge Bahrain to drop charges against women activists

A group of United Nations human rights experts are urging the government of Bahrain to drop charges against three women human rights activists exercising their rights to free expression and free association.

Lebanon: UN Special Coordinator meets Prime Minister to discuss year’s challenges, progress

The United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Derek Plumbly, met in Beirut today with Prime Minister Tamam Salam to discuss the grave security challenges faced by the country this year, as well as progress made to promote dialogue between political parties.

Despite Gaza clashes, Israelis and Palestinians must maintain ceasefire, says UN official

The United Nations Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, James Rawley, has said he is deeply concerned by reports of exchange of fire between Palestinian militants and the Israeli Defense Forces in the southern Gaza Strip today.

As war continues, UN agency maps extensive destruction to Syria’s cultural heritage

The extensive destruction and damage of Syria’s historical and cultural heritage sites demands increased efforts to protect them from the violence of the country’s continuing conflict, a new United Nations report based on exclusive satellite imagery has revealed.

As winter hits displaced Iraqis, UN appeals for boost in humanitarian funding

The United Nations today called for a surge in humanitarian funding to help cover the basic needs of close to one million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Iraq’s Kurdistan region amid plummeting temperatures and wintry conditions.

Ban welcomes decision to postpone Iraqi payments into fund set up after invasion of Kuwait

Iraq will not be obligated to deposit 5 percent of its oil proceeds into a fund set up by the United Nations to pay compensation for the 1990-91 invasion and occupation of Kuwait, a decision Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed in light of the “severe security and humanitarian crisis” confronting the Iraqi people.

Amid heightened tensions, Security Council extends UN mission in Golan

The United Nations Security Council this morning extended the mandate of its mission in the Golan until 30 June 2015, as it condemned recent fighting in the area and stressed that both Israel and Syria must “scrupulously” abide by the terms of the disengagement accord to prevent any breaches of the ceasefire.