Middle East

‘Historic’ new Syria talks should focus on relief for war-weary civilians, says UN negotiator

Work on drafting a new foundational text for war-torn Syria officially began at the UN in Geneva on Wednesday with representatives from the Syrian Government and opposition sitting face to face and preparing to discuss the country’s future for the first time in the nearly nine-year conflict.

Iraq protests: UN calls for national talks to break ‘vicious cycle’ of violence

The UN’s most senior official in Iraq, visited protesters in central Baghdad on Wednesday, calling for “a national dialogue to identify prompt, meaningful responses to break the vicious cycle of violence” which has roiled the country during the past five days.

‘Multi-generational tragedy’ in Israel and Palestine demands political will for two-State solution

Pervasive deteriorating facts on the ground in Israeli-Palestinian conflict, “are pushing us every further” from achieving a viable two-State solution, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process told the Security Council on Monday.

Security Council: UN welcomes efforts to de-escalate crisis in northeast Syria

The United Nations welcomes efforts to de-escalate the crisis in northeastern Syria in the wake of Turkey’s incursion, a senior official with responsibility for the region told the Security Council on Thursday.

Decisive international action needed to end Israeli occupation: UN rights expert

The international community has a responsibility and legal obligation to compel Israel to end its 52 year-long “occu-annexation” of Palestinian territory and remove barriers preventing Palestinian self-determination, a UN independent human rights expert told the General Assembly on Wednesday.

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: Nearly 180,000 displaced in Syria's northeast, millions of young lives hinge on funding, WHO urges lead paint ban

A recap of Tuesday’s main stories: Syria's northeast sees 180,000 displaced two weeks into fighting; funding shortfalls puts millions of young lives on the line; assistance breakthrough for Yemeni's; UN health agency urges ban on lead paint; Libyan child deaths in Tripoli attack.

Nearly 180,000 displaced by northeast Syria fighting as needs multiply: UN refugee agency

After nearly two weeks of fighting in northeast Syria, the UN’s humanitarian wing has estimated that around 180,000 have been forced to leave their homes or shelters, including 80,000 children, all in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.

Amid ongoing fighting in northeast Syria, hundreds cross Iraqi border in search of safety

Shelling and clashes in northern Syria on the border with Turkey continue to cause hundreds of people to flee, the UN said on Friday, despite a cessation of hostilities deal between Turkish forces and Syrian-backed Kurdish military. 

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Fragile hope for Yemen, TB and Afghanistan updates, Paris's fresco for sustainable development

A recap of Thursday’s stories: Hope rises as violence abates in Yemen; TB infections slowdown but not fast enough; civilian casualties in Afghanistan hit record level; thousands paint picture of sustainable development in Paris; labour research finds strategies to tackle poverty.

Yemen conflict: 'Fragile’ hopes rise, as violence decreases and life-saving humanitarian funding surges

There are “small signs” of hope for Yemeni civilians caught up in fighting, following a reduction in violence, coupled with a 20 per cent increase in funding for the UN’s humanitarian response, the Security Council heard on Thursday.