Middle East

UN calls for humanitarian access to besieged areas in Syria, welcomes new approvals from Government

The United Nations is calling today for unimpeded humanitarian access to reach people in need in hard-to-reach and besieged areas of Syria, while welcoming the recent approval by the Government to access the towns of Madaya, Foah and Kefraya.

Yemen: Ban condemns expulsion of UN rights official; ‘extremely concerned’ for staff

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today condemned the Government of Yemen’s decision to expel the United Nations Human Rights representative in the war-torn country, voicing “extreme concern” for the safety of the remaining national and international staff.

In Saudi Arabia, senior UN officials discuss regional tensions and needs

Two senior United Nations officials arrived in Saudi Arabia today to discuss the effects of regional tensions on the Syrian crisis as well as ways to ensure stability and security for neighbouring countries.

Ban calls on Israel and Lebanon to maintain cessation of hostilities following attacks

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned yesterday’s attack against two Israel Defense Forces vehicles in the general area of the Sheba’a Farms south of the Blue Line, which was claimed by Hizbollah.

UN envoy for Iraq condemns attacks on mosques in Babylon Province

The most senior UN official in Iraq has condemned attacks which took place against three Sunni mosques in Babylon Province on Sunday evening, as well as other acts of violence.

Yemen: civilian casualties top 8,100 as airstrikes and shelling continue, UN reports

Civilians are suffering a “terrible toll” in the fighting tearing Yemen apart, with casualties now topping 8,100, nearly 2,800 of them killed, amid Saudi-led coalition airstrikes, shelling by Houthi groups and other clashes, the United Nations reported today.

Lebanon: Senior UN officials urge restraint by all parties after attack, exchange of fire with Israel

The United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon and the commander of the UN peacekeeping force there have urged both sides to exercise utmost restraint to prevent any escalation after that two Israeli army vehicles were attacked south of the Blue Line and Israeli forces returned artillery fire.

UN chief calls on Iran, Saudi Arabia to avoid further exacerbating tensions after executions

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has phoned the Foreign Ministers of Saudi Arabia and Iran to urge both countries to avoid actions that could further exacerbate tensions after the recent Saudi executions, the attack on the Saudi embassy in Iran, and the rupture in diplomatic ties.

Faced with Israeli denial of access to Occupied Palestinian Territory, UN expert resigns

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian territories is resigning due to Israel's failure to grant him access to the areas he is tasked with monitoring.

UN officials 'deeply dismayed' by Saudi executions, urge commuting all death sentences

Top United Nations officials have expressed deep dismay and regret over yesterday's executions by Saudi Arabia of 47 people, including the cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, and called on the country's authorities to commute all death sentences.