Middle East

UN rights chief calls for Turkey to probe violations in northern Syria

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has urged Turkey to launch an immediate independent investigation into violations and abuses committed in parts of north, northwest and northeast Syria, which are under the control of its forces and affiliated armed groups. 

Syria COVID spread may be much higher than figures suggest, Lowcock tells Security Council

Reports from inside Syria are pointing to a much broader spread of COVID-19 than the number of confirmed cases – currently 3,618 – suggests, the UN’s top humanitarian official says. 

Issues surrounding Syria’s chemical weapons programme must be resolved, to restore global confidence 

Until outstanding issues related to Syria’s initial declaration of its chemical weapons stockpile and programme are resolved, the international community cannot have full confidence that its activities have ended, the UN’s top disarmament expert told the Security Council on Thursday.

Fresh war crimes fears highlighted in new Yemen report

The war in Yemen continues to ravage the country and its people, senior UN-appointed rights investigators said on Wednesday, in a call for an international probe into suspected war crimes, and sanctions against the perpetrators.  

Deal to reduce recent Gaza tensions will aid fight against COVID-19

The top UN official in the Middle East has hailed an agreement to reduce the latest tensions in and around Gaza amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Urgent solution needed to address fuel woes in war-torn Yemen

The UN Special Envoy for Yemen has called on all parties to urgently work together with his Office, in order to find a solution that ensures people in the country can access basic fuel supplies, amid major shortages in areas controlled by the Houthis, formally known as Ansar Allah.

UNICEF: Time is of the essence, as water shortages compound desperate situation in Beirut

Risk of water-borne diseases is rising in Beirut, in the aftermath of the devastating explosion in early August, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has warned, calling for urgent action to ensure families and responders have access to safe water and sanitation. 

UN refugee chief underlines continued support to Lebanon

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees on Friday urged the international community to continue to stand by the people of Lebanon as they recover from the blast that devastated the capital, Beirut, earlier this month. 

Iraq: UN Mission condemns killings of activists in Basra

The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) has strongly condemned the killing of two activists and attacks against others in the southern city of Basra, urging increased efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice. 

Jordan: Closing teachers’ union, detaining officials, ‘serious’ rights violations

Jordan must reverse the decision to close a 140,000-strong teachers’ union and detain its leaders, independent UN human rights experts said on Wednesday, while also urging the authorities to lift gag orders prohibiting public discussion of the case.