Middle East

UN demands Bahrain release prisoners detained for exercising freedom of speech

The United Nations today demanded the release of Bahraini civilians who may have been arrested during recent anti-Government protests merely for exercising their rights to freedom of speech, and called for civilian trials for those whose cases go forward.

Mandate of UN peacekeepers in southern Lebanon extended for another year

The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon until 31 August 2012.

Iraq: UN stresses that exiled camp residents must not be deported

The United Nations today stressed that residents of a camp in Iraq housing Iranian exiles must be protected from deportation or expulsion, and pledged to continue helping the country’s Government to find a peaceful solution that conforms with international law.

Ban seeks urgent deployment of UN mission to help Libya rebuild

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today summoned major regional organizations to join the United Nations in helping the new Libyan authorities deliver immediate emergency aid and provide a democratic transition after the ouster of Colonel Muammar al-Qadhafi’s regime.

Surge in violence makes breaking Israeli-Palestinian deadlock more urgent – UN

The recent serious escalation of violence in southern Israel and the Gaza Strip makes it ever more urgent to break the deadlock in the Middle East peace talks, the top United Nations political official warned today.

UN and diplomatic partners urge Security Council to unfreeze Libyan assets

The United Nations and its diplomatic partners seeking a resolution to the Libyan crisis today urged the Security Council to release assets frozen under United Nations sanctions to the country’s transitional authorities to help them set up a government in the North African nation.

UN underlines importance of sustainable use of Iraqi Marshlands as water resource

Marshlands in Iraq must be managed in a manner that balances the various benefits derived from the ecosystems, including food and clean water for the country’s people, as well as climate control, according to a United Nations report released today.

High unemployment blights Palestinian lives – UN report

The economy of the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) grew by 9.3 per cent last year, but that expansion was not enough to reduce the area’s 30 per cent unemployment rate, the United Nations trade and development arm said in a new report released today.

Top UN human rights body orders inquiry into Syrian violence

The top United Nations human rights body today called for an immediate end to all violence in Syria and decided to dispatch an independent international commission of inquiry to investigate alleged abuses committed during the Government’s crackdown on protesters.

Libya: UN chief stresses unity and national reconciliation during transition

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today stressed the need for maintaining national unity and fostering reconciliation in Libya when he spoke with the leader of the North African country’s National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdul-Jalil.