Middle East

Yemen’s warring parties agree to free more than 1,000 prisoners 

At the end of a week-long meeting in Switzerland, the parties to the conflict in Yemen reached what the UN envoy there called “a very important milestone”, in agreeing to release a first group of detainees.

Put ‘people before politics’ in Lebanon, urges Guterres, following Beirut disaster

It’s time that leaders across Lebanon put “people before politics” following last month’s explosions in Beirut port, said the UN chief on Wednesday, which must serve as a wake-up call following a year of upheaval and clamour for reform on all fronts.

‘Tens of millions of Yemenis’ devastated by unabated war and COVID-19 

More than five years of war have “devastated the lives of tens of millions of Yemenis”, with experts estimating that up to one million may have been affected by COVID-19, the UN chief told the General Assembly on Thursday. 

Famine threat returns to Yemen, amid upsurge in fighting

The spectre of famine has returned to Yemen as donor countries fail to make good on their 2020 pledges, amidst an upsurge in fighting, fresh hurdles for aid deliveries, and ongoing efforts to nail down a nationwide ceasefire, the Security Council heard on Tuesday.

Syria: Bombshell report reveals ‘no clean hands’ as horrific rights violations continue 

Despite a reduction in largescale hostilities since a ceasefire in March, the UN Syrian Commission of Inquiry reported on Monday that armed actors continue to subject civilians to horrific and increasingly targeted abuse.

UN agency for Palestinian refugees launches $95 million appeal to keep COVID at bay 

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a health and socio-economic emergency across the occupied Palestinian territory, the UN agency for the region warned on Friday, noting a swell of coronavirus cases in recent weeks. 

UNESCO launches Beirut recovery fund for culture, heritage and education

To support the rehabilitation of schools, historic heritage buildings, museums and the creative economy, which suffered extensive damage in the deadly explosions that shook Beirut earlier this month, the head of the UN cultural agency on Thursday launched an international fund-raising appeal.

 

Deliberate silencing of peaceful voices in Iraq ‘unacceptable’, says UN human rights chief

A new UN report launched on Thursday highlights human rights violations and abuses that were committed during recent demonstrations in Iraq and calls for immediate action for justice.

UNICEF works to ease suffering of children whose lives have been ‘turned upside-down’ after Beirut blast

Following a deadly explosion earlier this month, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has delivered some 67 tons of critical humanitarian supplies to affected children and families in Beirut.

Syria constitutional reform talks hold promise for new social contract

Constitutional reform talks between Syria’s Government and opposition leaders next week in Geneva, offer an opportunity to reconcile differences and establish a social contract with people across the country, who are desperate for progress after more than nine years of war, the Special Envoy told the Security Council on Wednesday.