Middle East

Syria: High Negotiations Committee arrives in Geneva where UN-mediated talks are under way

United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura has met with the delegation of the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) at their hotel in Geneva following their arrival last night in Geneva, where UN-mediated intra-Syrian talks began Friday after days of delays.

UN chief 'alarmed' by Hamas leadership's pledge to keep building tunnels, firing rockets at Israel

Alarmed by recent statements from the Hamas leadership in Gaza about the group's intention to continue building tunnels and firing rockets at Israel, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said such remarks and actions do “serious disservice” to the enclave's long-suffering people and put at risk the international community's humanitarian and development efforts.

Syria: UN-mediated talks get under way; relief agencies amplify calls for access to besieged civilians

With United Nations-mediated talks on ending the five-year crisis in Syria getting under way today as scheduled, UN relief agencies and their partners are reiterating their appeal for unhindered access by relief workers to more than four million desperate people spread across 18 besieged areas in the war-torn country.

Security Council condemns deadly terrorist attack on mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia

The United Nations Security Council has strongly condemned the terrorist attack at a mosque in the Ehsaa region of Saudi Arabia yesterday, which left many people dead and wounded.

Ahead of Geneva talks, UN envoy addresses all Syrians in video message

On the eve of scheduled intra-Syrian talks in Geneva to seek an end to five years of internecine fighting, the top United Nations official for the war-torn country took to the airwaves today to speak directly to the Syrian people, vowing that the world Organization will never abandon them.

More than half Yemen's population face hunger amid ongoing strife, UN agency warns

Some 14.4 million Yemenis, more than half the population, are food insecure, an increase of 12 per cent in just the last eight months, as ongoing conflict and import restrictions reduce availability and send prices soaring, the United Nations agricultural agency warned today.

Palestinians losing hope under ‘stifling’ Israeli occupation – UN chief

Amid ongoing violence in the Middle East, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reiterated today that he can understand why Palestinians are losing hope in the face of nearly 50 years of Israeli occupation, a statement that has provoked criticism that he was “giving terror a tailwind.”

Besieged Syrians ‘believe the world has forgotten them,’ UN relief chief tells Security Council

With United Nations-backed political talks on Syria set to begin later this week, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, today urged the entire international community to get behind the process, which seeks to ease the suffering for millions of desperate people and end “one of the most savage and brutal conflicts of the 21st century.”

Failure in Syria not humanitarian but political, says senior UN relief official

Senior United Nations relief officials working on the front lines of the conflict in Syria stressed today that only a political solution will end the five-year war, insisting that humanitarians have been doing all that they can to assist millions of desperate people who have lost nearly everything and are “now beginning to lose hope that the world cares.”

UN chief delivers impassioned plea to Israelis and Palestinians to compromise for peace

Condemning Palestinian attacks against Israeli civilians, highlighting growing Palestinian frustration at a half century of occupation, and calling on Israel to change its settlement and other policies, United Nations Secretary-General today urged both sides to seize the “historic challenge” of compromise to secure a two-state solution.