Middle East & North Africa

For the Survival of the Nile and its People

Running through eleven countries for 6,853 kilometres, the Nile is a lifeline for nearly half a billion people. But the river itself has been a source of tension and even conflict for countries and territories that lie along it and there have been rumours of “possible war for the Nile” for years now. While to date there has been no outbreak of irreversible tension, experts say that because of increasing changes in the climate a shared agreement needs to be reached on the redistribution of water soon.

Investing in Arab and Asian Youth For a Sustainable Future

As the youth population has increased to unprecedented levels in Arab and Asian regions, governments need to do more to invest in them.

Muslim Allies In the Fight Against Extremism

With the rise of violent extremism worldwide has come the stereotyping of an entire religion. In many countries and across many borders, Muslims have been vilified for events they are just as outraged at.

Water Scarcity and Poor Water Management Makes Life Difficult for Egyptians

Local residents in Cairo are becoming concerned and discontent as water scarcity is reaching a critical point in the capital and the rest of the country.

Freezing Inside UAE’s High Rise Buildings While Temperatures Soar Outside

“Look at these tall, beautiful buildings. I have worked as a mason during the construction and was one of those who laid [the brickwork] brick by brick,” says Mohammed Akhtar* who has been working as mason for over a decade in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).Akhtar has seen the evolution of Dubai’s skyline over time. “It has been an overwhelming journey.”  When asked what has changed in the last 10 years, Akhtar smiles and says the weather.

25 years Since the Oslo Accords: Israeli Security Depends on Palestinian Rights

Twenty-five years ago, on 13 September 1993, I sat on the White House lawn to witness the landmark signing of the Oslo agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Diplomats around me gasped as Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin shook hands with former foe, Chairman Yasser Arafat. But for some of us present, the handshake came as no surprise.

UN Seeks Probe into Saudi Bombing of Civilian Targets

Saudi Arabia, which has been accused of relentlessly bombing civilian targets in strife-torn Yemen and threatening executions of human rights activists, is fast gaining notoriety as a political outcast at the United Nations.

Palestinian Children, the True Victims of the Conflict

Over 500 to 700 West Bank children are arrested and prosecuted each year by Israeli military forces. Palestinian child rights organisation, Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP), says that between 2012 and 2017 the organisation represented more than 700 children, some 72 percent of whom endured violence after their arrest.

Europe Needs to Stop the Criminal Business Behind Immigration

Debating on migration as an emergency is a huge mistake and treating it as such opens the door for illegal and unfair activities, says a migration expert.

Peace “Only Way Forward” For Yemen

Tackling the relentless conflict in Yemen has never been more urgent as it has pushed the Middle Eastern nation “deep into the abyss.” However, much can be learned from recent and ongoing initiatives.

Overly Bureaucratic Procedures and Long Waits Cuts off Support to 22 Million Yemenis

As Yemen’s people struggle to survive amid what has been described as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, the stranglehold by both government coalition forces and rebels over the country’s main ports of entry and distribution is cutting off a lifeline of support to 22 million people.

Mideast Faces Tragic Shredding of its Diverse Religious, Ethnic & Cultural Fabric

I thank the Russian Federation Presidency for convening this debate at a crucial juncture for the people of the Middle East and North Africa. The region faces profound divisions, troubling currents and a tragic shredding of its diverse religious, ethnic and cultural fabric.

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.

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