• Middle East

    Swiss UN Mission Asks Others to Help Refer Syria to The Hague

    by  • June 17, 2012 • ICC, Middle East, Security Council • 6 Comments

    Observers sent to the villages of el-Qubeir to conduct a fact finding mission following reports of a massacre.

    As the 300-member United Nations unarmed observer mission in Syria suspends its work because of intensifying violence in the country, Britain and Switzerland are beginning efforts to refer the Syrian situation to the International Criminal Court. The British foreign secretary, William Hague, announced recently that his office is preparing a case against the Syrian...

    Read more →

    The Security Council Shows Unity on Syrian Crisis

    by  • March 21, 2012 • ICC, Middle East, Security Council • 2 Comments

    special envoy to Syria

    The Security Council adopted a presidential statement today backing Kofi Annan, the joint United Nations-Arab League special envoy to Syria, on his mission to resolve the year-long crisis there. Russia’s UN ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, told the press after the adoption that his country’s stance on Syria had not changed and that the statement reflected...

    Read more →

    Security Council Vents Frustration Over Syria Crisis

    by  • March 1, 2012 • Middle East, Security Council • 3 Comments

    British ambassador to the UN

    In a voice of rare unanimity on the situation in Syria, the 15-member UN Security Council conveyed its “deep disappointment” that Valerie Amos, United Nations under secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, was turned down by the government to enter the country to assess the humanitarian crisis. The press statement was read by Mark Lyall Grant,...

    Read more →

    General Assembly Condemns Syria in a Strong Vote

    by  • February 16, 2012 • General Assembly, Middle East, Peace and Security • 7 Comments

    Syrian resolution

    The General Assembly overwhelmingly supported a resolution condemning the relentless “widespread and systematic” human-rights violations committed by Syrian officials and demanded that the government stop all violence and protect its people. The resolution, though not enforceable, also called on Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, to cede office to a vice president and begin negotiations to...

    Read more →

    ‘A Sad Day for the Council’

    by  • February 4, 2012 • Middle East, Security Council • 5 Comments

    Susan Rice, US Ambasador at the Security Council meeting on Syria.

    Russia and China vetoed the draft resolution on Syria today after the draft went through tense, protracted rounds of Security Council negotiations this week, despite optimism shown yesterday by diplomats involved in the process at the United Nations. The draft was backed by Western powers and the Arab League, which has been leading the...

    Read more →

    Where Will the News Be in 2012?

    by  • January 18, 2012 • Africa, Middle East • 2 Comments

    Even before unforeseen events like natural disasters or outbreaks of new conflicts occur this year, as they always do, 2012 will be full of important political news, with elections not only in the United States but also around the world, some in countries that are crucial to the stability of their regions. The International...

    Read more →

    Getting to Know the Persian Gulf

    by  • January 18, 2012 • GOINGS-ON, Middle East • 

    American officials now rank Iranian threats to close the Strait of Hormuz as dangerous to American interests — or even more so in the short term — than Iran’s nuclear program. Where is this place, and why has it risen to the top of Washington’s concerns? Answers to such questions can be found in...

    Read more →

    Shaping a Tentative Peace in Yemen

    by  • January 8, 2012 • Middle East • 1 Comment

    Multiple conflicts have raged for years in Yemen, one of the poorest and most neglected countries in the Arab world. In the north, the ethnic group Houthis battled the government, while separatists vied for independence in the south. Elements of a regional proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia have been going on as...

    Read more →

    Human Rights Chief Calls for More Action in Syria

    by  • December 5, 2011 • Human Rights, Middle East, Peace and Security • 2 Comments

    As violence continues unabated in Syria despite tough economic and travel sanctions from such big players as the Arab League, the European Union, Turkey and the United States, the head of the UN’s high commissioner for human rights has spoken out by calling for international intervention to protect civilians against government attacks. Navi Pillay,...

    Read more →