Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman
CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, March 16, 2005
For IMMEDIATE Release
Middle East & United Nations
Ros-Lehtinen Schedules Wednesday Hearing on UN Efforts in Region
BACKGROUND: The United Nations has broad involvement in the Middle East, both as an institution and as a forum for debate and decision-making by U.N. Security Council members and other powers. Some U.N. agencies provide economic and relief assistance to displaced populations; other U.N. agencies, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), monitor Middle East countries’ compliance with such international agreements as the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). In some cases, the United Nations has undertaken security missions in the region, such as its U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) peacekeeping operation in southern Lebanon. In other cases, U.N. envoys, such as U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Terje Roed-Larsen, have engaged in negotiations with parties to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Larsen has also attempted to engage Syria’s leadership concerning compliance with the provisions of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559 – most importantly, requiring Syria to end its military occupation of Lebanon. The Syrian occupation of Lebanon is one among many Middle East-related examples in which the Security Council has been used as a forum to debate or resolve regional issues. In the past, the United States has criticized some U.N. institutions for becoming forums for Arab denunciations of Israel, and U.S. and Israeli representatives continue to accuse some Arab countries of seeking to marginalize Israel within the United Nations. The United States and other countries have often criticized U.N. internal procedures and processes that have allowed “hardline” Arab states such as Syria to sit on the Security Council, and Libya, which is widely criticized for its human rights record, to chair the U.N. Human Rights Commission (2003-2004 session).
WHAT: Subcommittee Oversight Hearing: The Middle East and the United Nations
Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia,
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chair
***Note: Immediately following the hearing, a markup will be held of H.
Res. 54, Expressing the sense of the
House of Representatives regarding anti-Semitism at the United Nations, and for other purposes.
WHEN: 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 20, 2005
WHERE: Room 2200 Rayburn House Office Building
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Organization
Affairs, U.S. Department of State;
Richard S. Schifter (former U.S. Representative to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, and
Deputy U.S. Representative to the United Nations Security Council); and
Richard Williamson, Partner, Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw, LLP (former United States Ambassador and Alternate
Representative for Special Political Affairs to the United Nations).
Back to Press Page Home