Middle East

Syria: Forces battling ISIL 'lose sight of ultimate aim' to free civilians from terror – UN rights chief

Forces fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da'esh) terrorist group in Syria are losing sight of the obligation to protect civilians as the battle to retake Raqqa from ISIL is being waged at the cost of their lives, the top United Nations human rights official warned today.

Syria: UN adviser warns trapped civilians face greater risks as Raqqa fighting intensifies

The United Nations adviser on the prevention of genocide today expressed deep concern at the deteriorating situation of up to 25,000 civilians trapped in Syria's Raqqa, noting that civilians are used as human shields in this de facto capital of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da'esh) terrorist group under intense bombardment.

In the Gaza Strip, UN chief appeals for Palestinian unity; renews call for two-state solution

Visiting Gaza for the first time since taking office as United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres today called for Palestinian unity, saying division “only undermines the cause of the Palestinian people.”

'Time to shift from logic of war,' put interests of Syrian people first, UN Security Council told

Calling for creative ways to work towards peace in Syria, the United Nations Special Envoy today outlined the political path forward, which includes holding another round of the so-named Astana talks and behind-the-scenes efforts by the international community.

Security Council renews mandate of UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon

The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Lebanon for one year.

In Palestine, UN chief says two-state solution 'only way to guarantee peace'

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today reiterated his call for a political solution to the Middle East conflict that would end Israel's occupation of Palestinian land and would create an independent Palestinian state, living side by side with Israel in peace and security.

UN chief Guterres meets Israel's Netanyahu in Jerusalem, pledges to fight anti-Semitism

Reiterating his commitment to fighting anti-Semitism, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he is committed to protecting Israel and its right to exist.

Cholera spread slows in Yemen; locals pitch in to help curb outbreak – UN agency

The weekly number of reported new cholera cases in Yemen has declined by one third since late June, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) today said, praising Yemenis for leading a “heroic daily fight” against the outbreak, which remains the worst in the world.

In Kuwait, UN chief Guterres lauds country's humanitarian leadership, regional diplomacy

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, on an official visit to Kuwait, expressed gratitude to not only the Gulf country's leadership in humanitarian action, but the “dialogue […] and promotion of understanding Kuwait has shown in relation to all conflicts in the region.”

UN rights office gathering info on air strikes in Yemen; urges protection of civilians

Reiterating that attacks targeting civilians are prohibited under international law, the United Nations human rights office today confirmed dozens of casualties in airstrikes on villages near the capital, Sana'a.