Middle East & North Africa

President Al-Sisi Pursues Repressive Track with New Wave of Arrests

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, who was re-elected in March, continues the repression of regime opponents. Critics view the situation as increasingly dangerous. “There is no logic anymore,” says one.

Civilians Paid a Very High Price for Raqqa’s Devastating “Liberation” by US-led Forces

Driving around in Raqqa, it was easy to believe what a senior US military official said – that more artillery shells were launched into the Syrian city than anywhere else since the Viet Nam war.

Unilateral Coercive Measures have Devastated the Syrian Economy &Ruined Civilian Lives

I have been entrusted by the Human Rights Council with the task of monitoring, reporting and advising on the negative impact on the enjoyment of human rights of unilateral coercive measures.The United Nations has repeatedly expressed concern that the use of such measures may be contrary to international law, international humanitarian law, the UN Charter and the norms and principles governing peaceful relations among States1.

Why Israel Dropped Out of the Security Council Race: Not Enough Votes

From the start, it was a closely watched contest pitting Germany, Belgium and Israel against one another for their regional bloc’s two seats in the next term on the United Nations Security Council. Israel has never held a seat on the Council, and as it celebrates its 70-year membership in the UN in 2018, the country was aiming high for the June 8 election.

Can Preventive Diplomacy Avert Military Conflicts?

In the paradoxical battle against military conflicts, is preventive diplomacy one of the political remedies that can help deter wars before they break out?Miroslav Lajcak, President of the UN General Assembly, points out that prevention takes many forms, and it must tackle conflict at its roots – before it can spread.

“What do you Become When you Shoot to Kill Someone who is Unarmed, & not an Immediate Threat to You?”

Appalling recent events in Gaza have called this Council into Special Session. Since the protests began on 30 March, 87 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli security forces in the context of the demonstrations, including 12 children; 29 others, including three children, were killed in other circumstances. And over 12,000 people have been injured, more than 3,500 of them by live ammunition.

United Arab Emirates: Entering into a Sustainable Future


 
 
The end of the oil age In the early 1970’s the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was an impoverished desert, with little access to food, water and well-paying jobs. Today, this country looks nothing like it was fifty years ago. Thanks to oil, the UAE has completely transformed and now is one of the most developed economies in the Middle East, if not the world: its per capita GDP is equal to those of highly developed European nations ($68,000 - 2017 est.).

“I Wake Up Screaming”: Gaza’s Children Bear the Brunt of Violence

Reham Qudaih wakes up nightly to the same nightmare: her father shot, lying on the ground in a pool of blood.“In my dreams he is on the ground shot. When I have that dream – which I’ve had more than once I wake up screaming,” she told the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

To Sustain Peace: Heed the Warnings & Prevent the Next War

New York and Washington DC may be three hours apart geographically, but in global affairs, they are worlds apart.With the wars in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere unabating, at the UN in New York, terms like ‘conflict prevention’ and ‘sustaining peace’ are back in vogue, with world leaders attending a major summit. Meanwhile in Washington while the talks with North Korea took center stage behind the scenes the drum roll of war against Iran is revving up.

Authoritarian Govts Tighten Grip on Press Freedom

The 25th celebration of World Press Freedom Day will be led by UNESCO and the government of Ghana in Accra on May 2-3. The theme is “Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law,” covering the issues of media in respect to the judicial system and transparent political processes.

Middle East: a Threat to World Peace & Security, Warns UN Chief

The situation in the Middle East is in chaos — to such an extent it has become a threat to international peace and security.The region is facing a true Gordian knot – different fault lines crossing each other and creating a highly volatile situation with risks of escalation, fragmentation and division as far as the eye can see with profound regional and global ramifications.

“International Solidarity” at Yemen Donor Conference

The international community has pledged over two billion dollars towards urgently needed humanitarian assistance to Yemen during a UN event.

Yemen the World’s Worst Humanitarian Crisis, Says UN Chief

Thank you all for being here today to show your solidarity with the women, men, girls and boys of Yemen. And I want to thank my co-chairs, the Governments of Sweden and Switzerland, for hosting this conference for the second year and for their continued humanitarian commitment.

I Am a Migrant: Integrating Through Syrian ‘Hummus’

Khaled left Syria in 2015, when his country was already in its fourth year of war. He is 27 years old and can clearly remember what his life was like then in Damascus: a happy life, with a happy family, in a happy country.

Washington’s Ambiguity Equals De Facto Sanctions On Teheran

Over the last few months, the United States’ rhetoric on the Iran nuclear agreement has been ambiguous, creating an uncertain environment for investors. With John Bolton, President Donald Trump has now appointed a national security adviser who is actively seeking to leave the Iran deal.

Chemical Weapons in Syria? Time for Outrage

US Defense Secretary James Mattis dropped a political bombshell last week when he said the U.S. has no evidence to confirm reports that the Syrian government had used the deadly chemical sarin on its citizens.

A New Low for Security Council as Russia Takes Syrian Human Rights Off the Table

There is nothing controversial about saying the UN Security Council has failed Syria.Diplomats have openly admitted it, journalists have written about it, human rights organizations have declared it - several times over in the past seven years. But what happened this week was deplorable and unacceptable, even by the very low standards we now have for the Council when it comes to Syria.

Asian & African Migrants Continue To Face Exploitation in Mideast

With more and more people living outside their country of origin, it is becoming increasingly clear that stronger legal parameters -- within and between nations --- are required to protect the most vulnerable of migrants from denial of access to fundamental rights.

Restoring U.S. Aid Crucial to Avoid a Water Catastrophe in Gaza

World Water Day (March 22) could not come at a more critical time for the people of Gaza who are facing a humanitarian catastrophe The recent decision by the United States to reduce funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), jeopardizes its role as a critical source of clean drinking water when Gaza’s supplies slow to a drip.

Is UN’s Ambitious Global Compact the Last Word on the Migrant Crisis?

As the death toll keeps mounting and the humanitarian crises continue unabated, the life of the average migrant or refugee has largely turned out to be an unmitigated nightmare.

Water Stress Poses Greatest Threat to MENA Region

This year, World Water Day, celebrated annually on 22 March, is themed “Nature for Water”, examining nature-based solutions (NBS) to the world’s water problems.

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