Middle East

Iraq: UN chief condemns ‘horrific’ double suicide bombing at Baghdad market

Perpetrators behind twin deadly suicide bombings at a busy market in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, on Thursday must be prosecuted, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement strongly condemning the attacks. 

Senior panel probing violations in Syria, examining new measures to safeguard humanitarians

The UN chief announced on Thursday that he has set up an independent Senior Advisory Panel on strengthening the mechanism whereby humanitarian workers and sites are better protected from attack in Syria, according to a statement released by his spokesperson. 

Decade of conflict triggering ‘slow tsunami’ across Syria, Security Council hears 

After a decade of conflict, economic collapse compounded by COVID-19, corruption and mismanagement, the UN Syrian envoy told the Security Council on Wednesday that “a slow tsunami” is now “crashing across Syria”. 

Israel: ‘Halt and reverse’ new settlement construction – UN chief 

Israel’s decision to advance plans for some 800 new settlement units, most of which are located deep inside the occupied West Bank, has sparked the concern of UN Secretary-General António Guterres. 

First Person: Cheese proves key to survival for Syrian refugee family amid pandemic

Syrian refugee Fatima Hussein Al Ahmad, a mother of four, lives on a farm with 50 other workers in Sahba, Jordan. COVID-19 travel restrictions meant that didn’t work for two months in 2020, and feeding her family became a daily struggle.

Israel: Ensure equal COVID-19 vaccine access to Palestinians – UN Independent experts 

Israel’s “impressive” vaccination programme against the COVID-19 pandemic must include Palestinians under occupation, UN independent human rights experts stressed on Wednesday. 

UN officials fear US terrorist designation will hasten famine in Yemen

Senior UN officials have expressed concern over the potential impact of the decision by the United States to designate Yemen’s Ansar Allah, more commonly known as the Houthi movement, a terrorist group, the Security Council heard on Thursday. 

Serious repercussions likely to follow US plan to designate Yemen combatants terrorists, UN warns

The United States government’s decision to designate Ansar Allah, more commonly known as the Houthi rebel group in Yemen, as terrorists, is likely to have “serious humanitarian and political repercussions”, the UN spokesperson said on Monday.

Saudi Arabia: UN rights expert welcomes ‘positive first step’ toward détente in Gulf  

Saudi Arabia’s action in lifting sanctions against Qatar is a “positive first step” towards normalized relations in the Gulf region, a UN independent human rights expert said on Thursday, urging the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt to follow suit. 

Deadly car bomb attacks ‘tragic reminder’ of price civilians pay in Syria

The killing of civilians in separate car bomb attacks in northern Syria on Saturday has been condemned by top UN humanitarian officials for the country.