Middle East

Beirut facing acute environmental crisis, warns UN energy specialist

Contamination from hazardous chemicals, landfill sites at capacity, and water pollution, are among the most urgent challenges faced by the Lebanese authorities and UN teams tackling the huge task of clearing up Beirut, following the massive explosion in the city’s port on 4 August.

UN envoy welcomes ‘commonalities’ shared by Syrians in Geneva talks

Syrian opponents meeting in Geneva as part of efforts to find a peaceful end to nearly a decade of conflict in their country have found common ground on which to pursue further discussions, UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen said on Saturday.

‘Widespread’ COVID-19 transmission, limited testing, deepen Syria’s humanitarian woes

COVID-19 is having a dramatic impact on health services in Syria, where limited testing is obscuring the real extent of the pandemic, the UN’s Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator said on Thursday.

Facing pandemic, economic and political challenges, Iraq Government ‘operating in the eyes of multiple storms at once’

The COVID-19 pandemic is aggravating deep-rooted economic, social and political challenges in Iraq, but elections in 2021 – if credible - could open a new chapter for the Middle East nation after years of conflict and strife, the UN’s top official in the country said Wednesday. 

Israel’s accord with United Arab Emirates an opportunity to unlock progress on wider Middle East peace efforts, UN envoy says

The recent agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates has the potential to change dynamics across the Middle East, the UN’s top envoy in the region told the Security Council on Tuesday, urging Palestinian and Israeli leaders to re-engage in efforts to resolve their protracted conflict.

‘You are not alone, we are in this together’, declare UN staffers in Lebanon

Last Saturday was another scorching August day in Lebanon’s shattered capital of Beirut, but UN staff members who had gathered outside UN House – itself damaged during the deadly port explosion - were determined to get straight to work, and stand in solidarity with the country they call home.

Iraq: ISIL’s acts of terror ‘divorced from the values of all faiths’ 

Religious leaders from communities across Iraq called for greater “healing and reconciliation” during a UN-organized event on Thursday, reaffirming their commitment to support survivors of crimes perpetrated by ISIL terrorist fighters.

 

BREAKING: Security Council extends for one year, lifesaving cross-border aid to Syria 

On its fourth attempt this week, the Security Council has on Saturday, authorized for one year, cross-border humanitarian aid from Turkey into northwest Syria. 

UN chief urges Israel to abandon annexation plans

The UN Secretary-General has called on Israel to scrap plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, a move that could occur as early as next week.

Security Council: Time is on no-one’s side in Syria, warns top UN envoy

With war-weary Syria in economic freefall and protesters back on the streets, all sides – domestic and international – must find a way forward that helps its people overcome their suffering and shape their own future, UN Special Envoy Geir Pedersen says.