Middle East

UN, US announce Gaza parties agree to 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire

All parties have agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire in the conflict in the Gaza Strip, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and United States Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Thursday, culminating the latest diplomatic push to end the deadly violence that has gripped the tiny enclave for nearly a month.

Iraq: Amid rising insecurity, UN official urges unimpeded access to desperate civilians

A senior UN official in Iraq expressed concern today over rising levels of violence and instability across the crisis-torn country and its impact on the lives of civilians.

‘Flagrant’ violations of international law continue in Syria, top UN relief official warns

With the United Nations and its partners in Syria begin to ramp up aid deliveries across battle lines, the Organization’s Emergency Relief Coordinator warned today that attacks on civilians by all parties to the conflict and human rights abuses continue “in flagrant violation of the most basic principles of…international law.”

Gaza: deadly shelling of another UN school draws condemnation, calls for ceasefire

As another United Nations school serving as a shelter for Palestinians in Gaza was hit by shells this morning, killing children, senior UN officials strongly condemned the attacks and warned against the targeting of civilians.

Citing humanitarian impact, Ban warns against further escalation in Gaza conflict

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has strongly urged all sides to avoid any further escalation in the Gaza conflict, warning of the devastating humanitarian impact on civilians in the enclave who have already suffered immensely since the crisis started.

Security Council concerned about illicit oil trade as revenue for terrorists in Iraq, Syria

Voicing grave concern over the reported access to and seizure of oilfields and pipelines in Syria and Iraq by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Jabhat Al-Nusra, the Security Council today underscored that there should be no trade in oil with these terrorist groups.

‘Gaza in critical condition,’ says Ban, calling again for immediate ceasefire

Urging Israelis and Palestinians to stop the fighting now, “in the name of humanity”, United Nations Secretary-General has again joined the Security Council in calling on the parties to agree on an “immediate and unconditional” ceasefire, allowing for the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip.

Gaza: UN renews appeal for humanitarian ceasefire leading to political talks

Welcoming the broadly observed 12-hour humanitarian pause in the Gaza conflict, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon renewed his appeal to all parties to declare a week-long ceasefire as a prelude to restarting political negotiations.

Arms race in Syria must be stopped to reduce civilian suffering, says head of UN panel

As ‘gross human rights violations’ continue in Syria, the head of a United Nations-appointed human rights probe today implored Member States to stop supplying weapons to both sides.

UN and partners urge humanitarian ceasefire, return to dialogue by Israelis, Palestinians

The United Nations and its diplomatic partners today called for a seven-day humanitarian ceasefire, as they continue their efforts to bring about an end to the bloodshed and destruction that is tearing apart the lives of so many civilians in Gaza and Israel.