Middle East

First Person: Telling the tragic story of mercury poisoning in Japan

Masami Ogata is a survivor of Minamata Disease, a debilitating illness caused by industrial mercury poisoning, which originated in the Japanese town of the same name in the 1950s. As a UN conference on preventing future poisoning outbreaks gets underway, we hear Mr. Ogata’s story.

'Big disappointment' over lack of Syria constitution agreement

The process of drafting a new constitution for Syria has been “a big disappointment” UN Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen concluded on Friday. Following the end of discussions in Geneva, a consensus on how to move forward was not achieved, he added.

Humanitarian assistance stepped up on Yemen's west coast, amid clashes

Humanitarian assistance has been ramped up on Yemen's west coast where ongoing violence has increased the needs of communities displaced by years of conflict, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Wednesday.

Now is the time to push for political resolution in Syria: UN envoy

Following a decade of appalling suffering and losses in Syria, and amid a current period of relative calm, now is the time to push for a political process to end the fighting, UN Special Envoy Geir Pedersen told the Security Council on Tuesday.

Syria committed to ‘combating and eradicating terrorism’, General Assembly hears

In his speech to the high-level debate at the UN General Assembly on Monday, Fayssal Mekdad, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Syria, reaffirmed his country’s commitment to combat terrorism and aim to ‘restore security and stability’.

Iran nuclear programme at ‘critical point’, Israeli Prime Minister warns

With Iran’s nuclear programme at a “watershed moment”, the country must be stopped from acquiring a nuclear weapon, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Monday in his inaugural speech to the UN General Assembly.

Iraqi President warns against complacency in the fight against terrorism

International cooperation and solidarity are the only way to combat terrorism, Iraqi President Barham Salih said in his speech to the UN General Assembly on Thursday, warning against complacency. 

King of Saudi Arabia says peace is top priority for his country 

The King of Saudi Arabia, Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, said on Wednesday that promoting peace is his Kingdom’s top priority in international affairs. 

Sanctions are ‘US way of war’, Iranian President at UN

In his speech to the high-level General Debate at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi called for an end to United States sanctions against his country, describing them as a method of waging war.

No end to Yemen civil war on the horizon, senior UN official briefs Security Council

No progress has been made by parties in Yemen to reach a political agreement to settle the civil war, which is now in its seventh year, a senior UN official for the Middle East region told the Security Council on Monday.