Middle East

Syria ‘caught in a downward spiral’ UN relief chief tells Security Council 

The UN humanitarian affairs chief warned on Wednesday that Syria, after more than a decade of war, remains “caught in a downward spiral” and that “the country will continue to be a place of tragedy, so long as the conflict continues.” 

After 10 years of war in Syria, siege tactics still threaten civilians

The future for Syria’s people is “increasingly bleak”, UN-appointed rights experts said on Tuesday, highlighting escalating conflict in several areas of the war-ravaged country, a return to siege tactics and popular demonstrations linked to the plummeting economy.

IAEA strikes deal with Iran on monitoring of nuclear programme  

The UN atomic watchdog reached an agreement with Iran on Sunday allowing the Agency access to surveillance cameras inside its atomic facilities. 

FIRST PERSON: Human trafficking, migrant smuggling, still significant threats in Asia

Human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants are going to remain significant threats to human security, that’s according to a trafficking and migrant expert working in the Middle East and Asia region for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

First Person: A refuge from COVID misinformation

The COVID-19 inoculation is "just like any other vaccine" a UN Women staff member is telling the Syrian refugee women she cares for in camps in Jordan, as she tries to combat misinformation and false rumours, and avoid spikes in infection.

Yemen: ‘Climate of fear’ grows, all sides to blame, say rights experts

There has been no let-up in more than six years of conflict in Yemen, as a growing “climate of fear” among civilians continues, a panel of UN-appointed independent rights experts said on Wednesday.

Yemen: UN agency helping stranded migrants to return home

Amid intensifying conflict in Yemen, and the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is helping nearly 5,000 Ethiopian migrants stranded in the country to return home, the UN agency reported on Tuesday. 

Israel-Palestine: Waste no opportunity for ‘serious’ political negotiation, envoy urges

The top UN envoy for the Middle East peace process told the UN Security Council on Monday that three months after the deadly escalation in violence between Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip, the situation there remains tense.

Afghanistan: UN chief condemns terrorist blasts near Kabul airport

Secretary-General António Guterres condemned on Thursday the terror attacks around Kabul airport in Afghanistan and expressed his support for both the injured and the families of those who have been killed. 

Increased Syria violence prompts largest civilian displacements in a year, as gridlock stymies political talks

Progress towards resolving Syria’s decade-long conflict has reached an impasse, the chief United Nations mediator told the Security Council on Tuesday, as an uptick in fighting throughout the country led to some of the largest civilian displacements in a year.