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Kingdom of Iraq. Dictionary of Genocide. He has written widely on matters concerning Saudi Arabia, the Gulf, and the Middle East for both academic and popular Foreplay how. Inthere was a dispute between Uganda and Tanzania, which stemmed from an armed countdies of Uganda in Septemberand a border dispute between Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, But both disputes were settled through the mediation of the Middel of African Unity and their neighboring countries. Their fears that the US will disengage from, or even abandon, the Middle East are real — Problems of middle east asian countries much so under Trump as under his predecessor. China is not quite as important to the Middle East as it can sometimes seem to be.
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The Oxford Companion to Archaeology. During the Cold War, the Middle East was a theater of ideological struggle between asjan two superpowers and their allies: NATO and the United States on one side, and the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact on the other, as they competed Problems of middle east asian countries influence regional allies. Attempts at brokering ceasefires have predictably failed. It is a member of the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic languages. Some propaganda can be very sophisticated as the build up to the Iraq invasion in showed. The region was the Celebrity rhino of various ancient civilizations such as ancient Chinaancient Japanancient Koreaand the Mongol Empire. Retrieved 16 April Eight months after the bombing, Problems of middle east asian countries US quietly admitted it made a mistake. Countrirs of the moon, kite-flying, Jwibulnorieating nuts Bureom. This is my first time Daily About once a week About once a month Every six months or less often. The New York Times. Improving health is integral to achieving these goals.
China has become an increasingly significant player in the Middle East in the past decade.
- Saudi Arabia is geographically the largest Middle Eastern nation while Bahrain is the smallest.
- If stock market volatility, slowing economies, and low commodity prices were not enough of a problem for East Asia, many countries in the region now have to worry about losing as much as 15 percent of their working-age population by , according to the World Bank.
- From elections, to refugee crises, ISIL, shifting alliances and Jerusalem - instability will mark in the region.
- East Asia is the eastern subregion of Asia , defined in both geographical  and ethno-cultural  terms.
MENA is one of the cradles of civilization and of urban culture. But the influence of MENA extends beyond its rich oil fields. It occupies a strategically important geographic position between Asia, Africa, and Europe. It has often been caught in a tug-of-war of land and influence that affects the entire world.
For hundreds of years, the population of MENA fluctuated around 30 million, reaching 60 million early in the 20th century. Only in the second half of 20th century did population growth in the region gain momentum. The total population increased from around million in to around million in — an addition of million people in 50 years.
During this period the population of the MENA region increased 3. MENA experienced the highest rate of population growth of any region in the world over the past century. The introduction of modern medical services and public health interventions, such as antibiotics, immunization, and sanitation, caused death rates to drop rapidly in the developing world after , while the decline in birth rates lagged behind, resulting in high rates of natural increase the surplus of births over deaths.
In MENA, infant mortality infants dying before their first birthdays dropped from close to deaths per 1, live births in the early s to fewer than 50 deaths per 1, live births at the turn of the 21st century.
On average, fertility in MENA declined from 7 children per woman around to 3. Countries and territories included in the Middle East and North Africa region as defined here are listed in Table 1.
Even though the decline in fertility rates is expected to continue in the MENA region, the population will continue to grow rapidly for several decades. In a number of countries, each generation of young people enters childbearing years in greater numbers than the previous generation, so as a whole they will produce a larger number of births. Regardless of the level of economic development or national income, MENA governments are increasingly challenged to provide the basic needs for a growing numbers of citizens — adequate housing, sanitation, health care, education, and jobs — and to combat poverty, narrow the gap between rich and poor, and generally improve the standard of living.
Over the next 15 years these children and adolescents will reach their childbearing years and enter the job market. Providing quality reproductive health services to a growing number of women is a challenge and is key to slowing population growth.
For example, the elderly population of Egypt 60 years and older is expected to grow from 4. In , for example, there were five Jordanians under 15 years of age poised to enter the labor market for every Jordanian age 45 to 60 nearing retirement age.
For Saudi nationals, this ratio was 8-to-1 in see Figure 5. Because of its young age structure and low level of female labor force participation, the proportion of the population that is economically active is lower in MENA than in all other regions.
Many governments struggle to provide for the basic needs of their growing populations. Even some of the oil-rich countries in the Gulf, such as Saudi Arabia, which have traditionally had no unemployment, are faced with youth unemployment. Unemployment is highest among young people and women.
In Jordan in , three-quarters of the unemployed were 15 to 29 years of age, and the female unemployment rate was twice as high as that of men. Unemployment rates in Egypt were reported to be 24 percent for women in , compared to 7 percent for men. To prepare its growing working-age population for the era of economic globalization, MENA requires a much greater investment in human resources.
In Egypt, between and , the literacy rate among the population age 15 years and older increased from 40 percent to 50 percent, but the total number of illiterate Egyptians still grew from 16 million to 19 million. The populations of cities are growing faster than the populations of the countries as a whole, as population growth in the rural areas feeds a pool of potential rural-to-urban migrants. Currently, Cairo By , Cairo While it is home to 6.
The per capita fresh water resources available are projected to decline to around 1, cubic meters by , the internationally recognized threshold for water scarcity. Today, much of the region is already below the international standard, since nearly 80 percent of available fresh water in the region is found in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. In countries such as Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, the national average is below cubic meters per person per year.
Peace and political stability in the region are necessary for governments to address some of their population challenges, particularly those of refugees. Iran has the largest number of refugees living in its territory. Palestinian refugees are the largest and oldest refugee population in the world. In addition to a commitment to peace and political stability, sound environmental, social, and economic policies are needed to address these and a variety of other population-related challenges, such as labor migration and environmental degradation.
Different policies ranging from labor and trade laws and regulations to those related to raising the status of women and protecting the environment all need to take into account the population factor. To have a better understanding of the population factor, future MENA policy briefs will examine different population issues, highlighting regional and national approaches, success stories, and lessons learned.
The United Nations UN held its first meetings on global population in and , warning that rapid population growth could exacerbate poverty and hinder development in countries with limited resources.
Egypt, Iran, and Turkey were among the first less developed countries to officially support family planning. These governments set up family planning programs in the s to improve health and lower population growth as part of their national development plans.
On the other hand, there were countries such as Algeria that did not see a need for organized family planning programs as part of their national development plans. At the UN World Population Conference in Bucharest, Algeria was among the countries leading the opposition to family planning programs on the grounds that they were an imperialist conspiracy aimed at limiting the population of the developing world. This group of countries believed that a national family planning program could not play a part in socioeconomic development, and only socioeconomic development was capable of creating the necessary environment for fertility to decline.
Later, however, the Algerian government realized that development alone would not be sufficient to lower fertility and reversed its policy. In , Algeria adopted a population policy that promoted family planning as part of its national development plan.
Iran reversed its official position on family planning twice since the s. After the Iran-Iraq war ended in , the government of Iran turned its focus to the reconstruction of its war-ravaged country. A number of countries, such as Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, and Turkey, have adopted explicit policies to lower fertility and have implemented national information and education campaigns to encourage smaller families.
The Cairo conference was a landmark in the series of UN population conference because it emphasized individual needs and well-being beyond family planning-including the need for comprehensive reproductive health care and improvements in the status of women. High fertility, slowing fertility decline, early marriage, and high teenage fertility are major reproductive health concerns in a number of MENA countries.
The practice of female genital cutting, though unknown in some areas outside Egypt and Yemen, is a major reproductive health issue that has brought national and international human rights, health, and women organizations together to call for its eradication. All governments participating in the Cairo conference endorsed its Programme of Action. For Muslim countries, including those in MENA, the endorsement generally came with the reservation that they would interpret and adopt its recommendations in accordance with Islam-a position needed for the delegations to take the recommendations back home for implementation.
The Programme of Action touched on issues such as youth sexuality and empowerment of women, which are culturally sensitive in some Muslim countries. The recommendations resulting from these conferences provide a framework for achieving socially equitable, sustainable development that each country can adapt to their own circumstances. This overview of population trends and challenges in the MENA region is the first in a series of policy briefs from the Population Reference Bureau that analyze population, environment, reproductive health, and development linkages within the framework of the Cairo Programme of Action and the cultural contexts of population groups in the region.
Future briefs on MENA will cover specific population-related topics or country case studies. Thanks are due to Ismail Sirageldin and Tom Merrick who reviewed the draft and offered useful comments. This work has been funded by the Ford Foundation. Focusing on human development, the document calls for a wide range of investments to improve health, education, and rights — particularly for women and girls — and to provide family planning services in the context of comprehensive reproductive health care.
Since the Cairo conference, many countries have taken concrete policy actions toward the goal of providing universal access to reproductive health care. In some cases, these actions included developing comprehensive national reproductive policies; in others, governments redesigned aspects of existing family planning or other health programs to address reproductive health.
The following are examples from MENA:. Population Change MENA experienced the highest rate of population growth of any region in the world over the past century. Demographic Consequences and Challenges Regardless of the level of economic development or national income, MENA governments are increasingly challenged to provide the basic needs for a growing numbers of citizens — adequate housing, sanitation, health care, education, and jobs — and to combat poverty, narrow the gap between rich and poor, and generally improve the standard of living.
The Evolving International Consensus on Population The United Nations UN held its first meetings on global population in and , warning that rapid population growth could exacerbate poverty and hinder development in countries with limited resources. References At a 3 percent rate of growth, a population doubles in size in 23 years. Sirageldin forthcoming. Committee for Refugees, : Table 2. Abdel R. ICPD set the following quantifiable goals for Provide universal access to a full range of safe and reliable family planning methods and related reproductive health services.
Reduce infant mortality rates to below 35 infants deaths per 1, live births and under 5 infant mortality rates to below 45 deaths per 1, live births. Reduce maternal morbidity and mortality to levels where they no longer constitute a public health problem.
Achieve universal access to and completion of primary education; ensure girls and women the widest and earliest possible access to secondary and higher levels of education. Box 2: Cairo in Action Since the Cairo conference, many countries have taken concrete policy actions toward the goal of providing universal access to reproductive health care. Later, a national family planning strategy was also developed to inform married women and men, religious and community leaders, and service providers about a full range of reproductive health issues.
Iran has created a national reproductive health program that includes economic opportunities for women and services for youth.
Syria has introduced population education as a topic in both formal and informal education. In , Tunisia established a Presidential Award in reproductive health to encourage and reward individuals and organizations for their contribution to solving problems related to reproductive health and raising public awareness about the issue. Download Download full report.
Central Asian despots may have cause to worry too. Chhaang or Buuz. If the west has a contribution to make, it is in an honest and accurate audit of the nature of the states our governments have for so long been supporting, not prevarication. However, in the case of Lebanon, the Syrian regime fully controls the border and the challenge is to overcome the Lebanese differences over engaging Damascus. Japan's War in Colour documentary. Get In Touch. We want to hear from you.
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China has become an increasingly significant player in the Middle East in the past decade. While it is still a relative newcomer to the region and is extremely cautious in its approach to local political and security challenges, the country has been forced to increase its engagement with the Middle East due to its growing economic presence there.
As a strategically important crossroads for trade routes and sea lanes linking Asia to Europe and Africa, the Middle East is important to the future of the BRI — which is designed to place China at the centre of global trade networks. The cooperation framework outlined in these documents focuses on energy, infrastructure construction, trade, and investment in the Middle East.
Beijing is careful to avoid replicating what it sees as Western intervention and puts forward a narrative of neutral engagement with all countries — including those that are at odds with each other — on the basis of mutually beneficial agreements. However, Beijing will likely struggle to maintain its neutral narrative as Chinese interests in the volatile region grow.
This will be especially true if the US speeds up its apparent withdrawal from the Middle East, a trend that is likely to force China to protect these interests itself. China may not want to strengthen its political and security presence in the region — but it may feel that it has no choice in the matter. It remains to be seen how far the country will take this, and to what end goal.
To date, China has concluded partnerships agreements with 15 Middle Eastern countries. It participates in anti-piracy and maritime security missions in the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden, and has conducted large-scale operations to rescue its nationals from Libya in and Yemen in It has increased its mediation efforts in crises such as those in Syria and Yemen — albeit cautiously so; was instrumental in persuading Tehran to sign the Iran nuclear deal; and appointed two special envoys to Middle Eastern countries in conflict.
Finally, China has supplied arms to several Middle Eastern countries, albeit on a small scale. But Beijing has been extremely careful not to become too involved, still believing that the US can take responsibility for managing security in the region. China has played next to no role in easing geopolitical tension in the Middle East, as indicated by the distance its political representatives maintain from major conflicts there.
While China has worked with Russia on the UN Security Council to protect the Syrian regime, this stems from its desire to adhere to the principle of non-interference rather than its direct interests in the Syrian conflict. Given the recent series of incidents in the Strait of Hormuz that increased tension between Iran and its geopolitical opponents, China could be forced to take on a greater security role to protect the freedom of navigation crucial to its energy security.
Beijing has kept to a very cautious line following the recent incidents, showing that it is not ready yet to step in significantly. However, a few announcements have marked a departure from this traditional rhetoric.
The Chinese ambassador to the United Arab Emirates announced in August that China might participate in maritime security operations in the strait. The following month, Iranian sources declared that China would be involved in a joint naval drill with Iran and Russia in the Sea of Oman and the northern Indian Ocean.
Beijing has not confirmed these declarations. China appears to be in learning mode in the Middle East. Yet while the region is still relatively peripheral to its foreign policy priorities, there is a widening debate within China about whether greater involvement is necessary to protect Chinese economic interests.
An increasing number of Chinese experts argue that their country should shed its image as a free-rider and increase its military presence in the region. Beijing is also motivated to do so by its desire to challenge US dominance in the Middle East and other regions — as Degang writes. Nonetheless, for the moment, the US remains the indispensable power in the Middle East — as Fulton contends. Middle Eastern countries face a similar dilemma. For example, Gulf countries have made great efforts to become involved in the BRI and attract Chinese businesses.
As Naser Al-Tamimi contends, many of these states perceive China as a useful tool in their strategies to diversify not just economically but also politically at a moment of apparent US retrenchment. This has pushed them to seek alternative partners, including China, as part of a hedging strategy. For instance, after the US expressed alarm about the possible security consequences of increased technological cooperation between Israel and China, some Israeli companies reportedly drew back from deals with Chinese firms.
Although many Middle Eastern countries support the principle of non-interference and condemn Western intervention in the region, this principle is likely to become a major weakness for China in the near future. For now, China seems content with its relatively passive role. By providing a model of non-democratic development and economic engagement with the region, China is slowly establishing itself as a competitor to Western influence in the Middle East.
Doing so will help them persuade Beijing to support a stable multilateral framework that protects European interests. China is emerging as a crucial development actor in the region, through both direct investment and development support.
Its economic importance to the region has the potential to outweigh that of the US and Europe. Middle Eastern countries — particularly those affected by conflict — will need Chinese money to develop critical infrastructure, and such assistance could have far-reaching consequences for them. As Degang states, China believes that economic development and the provision of public goods are important to peace and stability but that democratic reforms are not.
In this approach, development projects that focus on resource extraction risk reinforcing authoritarian regimes, clientelist networks, and social inequality — with long-term consequences for the political and economic stability of the countries involved. The Chinese model of authoritarian capitalism already fascinates many Middle Eastern regimes, which see cooperation with China as a means to resist Western pressure to pursue governance reforms and human rights accountability in return for development aid and investment.
With the US having already raised its concerns on this front, Europeans should follow the issue closely in the coming years. For example, several European development agencies are already experimenting with cooperation with China in African countries.
The extension of these partnerships to the Middle East could help Europeans understand Chinese developmental practices and promote European governance standards.
If the sides develop a constructive relationship in this way, China could support European stability initiatives in the Middle East.
Even if China prioritises economic development above political reform, Europeans should not see this as a zero-sum competition.
Middle Eastern states have capitalised on this, using China as a bargaining chip in their interactions with the US and Europe. For instance, earlier this year — only a few months after the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi — Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman appeared to use his tour of Asia to affect debates in the US and European countries on arms sales to his country.
Rather than only seeking to diversify Saudi partnerships with Asian powers, he aimed to issue a strong response to his Western critics. Countries in the region — especially those at odds with the US, such as Iran and Syria — tend to exaggerate their ties with China to ease their isolation. China is not quite as important to the Middle East as it can sometimes seem to be.
Many of the projects and investments China announced within the framework of the BRI have been abandoned or heavily delayed. Meanwhile, in areas such as arms sales, Chinese firms are far from being credible alternatives to Western suppliers. Therefore, Europeans should recognise the value of their own engagement with regional actors.
European countries should seek new ways to engage with China in the Middle East. In some respects, both sides want the same thing — a stable regional order — and may have room to advance shared policies in pursuit of this goal. Europeans should think about how to establish a constructive partnership with China — one that ties the country into a cooperative multilateral order as it continues its rise across the Middle East.
While largely dismissed upon its release as short on specifics and long on platitudes, the paper has, in hindsight, signalled trends in Chinese engagement with Arab states. China remains a major buyer of oil and natural gas from Middle Eastern exporters. China is likely to be increasingly reliant on energy from the region in the coming years, as the country is projected to dramatically increase its energy consumption and only modestly raise its domestic production.
In this, diversity is important for China. The country has long maintained a somewhat balanced approach to its Gulf energy imports. Chinese oil imports from Saudi Arabia rose from , barrels per day in August to 1,, in July Beijing is likely concerned about this level of dependence upon one energy source. Gulf Vision development programmes, which include major infrastructure projects, provide opportunities for further cooperation.
Chinese firms have been active throughout the Middle East, often focusing on projects that lend themselves to the BRI goal of connectivity. Ports and industrial parks have been central to such cooperation, as they create an economic chain that links China to the Gulf, the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea, and the Mediterranean.
Chinese firms are also likely to play a major role in reconstruction projects in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. In China became the largest source of foreign investment in the Middle East. Chinese firms are also trying to enter this market in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is an important potential customer, as it has long explored the possibility of commercial nuclear reactors as a source of domestic energy.
Making initial inroads into the market, the China Nuclear Engineering Group Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding with a Saudi firm to desalinate seawater using gas-cooled nuclear reactors. Chinese firms have also been active in solar, wind, and hydroelectricity projects in the Middle East. Coinciding with the expansion of the BRI, this flurry of diplomatic activity indicates that Chinese leaders increasingly perceive the Middle East as important to their political and strategic goals.
China has also contributed UN peacekeepers to Lebanon since Chinese companies can supply complete systems and accompanying services without political considerations. Nonetheless, Middle Eastern states generally prefer to purchase arms from the US, due to its advanced technology. The move was a break from a long-standing Chinese practice of not constructing military installations in other countries. Given the dramatic growth of Chinese overseas interests, assets, and expatriates, Beijing needed to demonstrate that it had the capacity to protect these interests and did not need to rely on the US security umbrella.
Substantial Chinese investments in Middle Eastern industrial parks and ports are commercial in nature for now, but may eventually have a military purpose. Host countries seem unlikely to allow this to happen in the near future, as many of them fear that it could compromise the security cooperation with the US they rely on. China is changing gears, and leaders throughout the region are responsive to this. With the US having established a regional security architecture that maintained the status quo it favoured, other foreign powers had to either work within that framework or challenge it.
The US security umbrella helped China establish itself as a major economic and political power in the Middle East. Beijing has built its presence there through strategic hedging — steadily increasing in its economic engagement with the region, establishing relationships with all states there, steadfastly alienating no one, and avoiding policies that would challenge American interests in the region.
As the architecture of the BRI takes shape, this perception becomes increasingly difficult to sustain. Rather than free-riding, China is providing public goods that can contribute to Middle Eastern development and stability.
Many leaders in the Middle East felt that the election of Donald Trump as US president signalled a return to a robust American presence there — one that would support Gulf countries and Israel while boxing in challengers to the regional order, particularly Iran and its proxies. In pulling out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the US applied pressure on Iran, but a lack of a clear policy to replace it has emboldened Tehran — as shown by the disruptions to shipping through the Strait of Hormuz in summer Trump followed up his threat to retaliate against Iran after the country shot down a US surveillance drone by calling off the planned strike, reinforcing the perception that the US commitment to stabilising the Gulf — which had remained steadfast since the announcement of the Carter Doctrine in — had diminished.
So why are we protecting the shipping lanes for other countries many years for zero compensation. All of these countries should be protecting their own ships on what has always been a dangerous journey.
This is not especially surprising: the expansion of Chinese influence in the Middle East is a challenge to US dominance. For now, the Trump administration is warning its Middle Eastern partners about the consequences of establishing deeper ties to China.
In the face of inconsistent policies from the US and with an eye to a future with greater Chinese power and influence, leaders in the Middle East have been receptive to Chinese outreach so far.
This comes at a moment when Western countries, particularly the US, suffers from Middle East fatigue. It is clear, however, that China will be an engaged partner with a clearly articulated approach to building a stronger presence in the region. Since Xi Jinping became president in , the Chinese government has had strong aspirations to win greater support at home by transforming China from a regional power into a world power.