Middle East

Syrian crisis reaching stage of civil war, UN human rights chief says

The deteriorating situation in Syria is now close to a civil war and the death toll from the nine-month crackdown by the country’s security forces against protesters has passed at least 4,000, the United Nations human rights chief said today.

UN agency for Palestinian refugees to build green schools in Gaza

The United Nations relief agency for Palestinian refugees said today it has formed a partnership with a renowned architect to build 20 environmentally-friendly schools in the Gaza Strip.

Ban voices outrage after attack against UK embassy in Iranian capital

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed his shock and outrage at yesterday’s attack against the United Kingdom’s embassy in Iran and urged the country’s authorities to take steps to prevent similar attacks against other diplomatic missions.

UN condemns rocket fire from Lebanon into Israel and urges maximum restraint

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the firing of at least two rockets into Israel from southern Lebanon last night and joined the United Nations peacekeeping force in the area in urging maximum restraint by all parties.

Establishing a peaceful Palestinian State next to Israel long overdue – Ban

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today led a chorus of United Nations officials in stressing the need for a just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine and achieving a comprehensive peace in the Middle East.

Yemenis facing deepening humanitarian crisis, UN relief official warns

Millions of people in Yemen are facing a severe humanitarian crisis, a senior United Nations relief official said today, warning that the situation is likely to deteriorate over the next year despite the recent accord to restore peace and stability.

Security Council strongly condemns attacks against UK embassy in Iran

The Security Council today strongly condemned the attacks against the United Kingdom’s embassy in the Iranian capital which resulted in intrusions into the diplomatic and consular premises and caused serious damage.

Syrian forces have committed crimes against humanity – UN rights panel

Syria’s military and security forces have committed crimes against humanity during their crackdown on protesters, a UN probe said today, urging the Government to immediately end “gross” human rights violations and bring perpetrators to justice.

UN official urges greater support for Palestinian refugees

The head of the United Nations relief agency for Palestinian refugees today urged the international community to strengthen support for the refugees, particularly the youth who constitute an increasingly significant segment of the population.

Welcoming accord in Yemen, Security Council urges timely implementation

The Security Council today welcomed the new political agreement in Yemen and the mechanism outlining how it can be implemented, but stressed that the deal must be strictly implemented to end unrest and restore stability in the country.