Middle East

Syrian Constitutional Committee a ‘sign of hope’: UN envoy tells Security Council

The launch of the Syrian Constitutional Committee could be a “door-opener” to finally providing a solution to the country’s brutal conflict, UN Special Envoy Geir Pedersen said on Friday in a briefing to the Security Council.

‘Signs of hope’ toward a political settlement in Yemen, UN special envoy tells Security Council

The momentum to reach a political settlement in Yemen “has been building”, the United Nations Special Envoy to the country told the Security Council on Friday, attributing the positive development to compromises on “a range of issues”.

Independent rights experts sound alarm at Iran protest crackdown, internet blackout

Reports of killed and maimed demonstrators, and a continuing nationwide internet shutdown in Iran’s now week-long protests are of “grave concern”, and the Government and authorities must ensure rights of expression and opinion are protected, a UN group of independent experts said on Friday.

UN experts urge Turkey to repatriate Irish woman associated with terror group

Turkey must ensure that an Irish woman and her infant daughter who are being held in custody there are repatriated, independent UN experts said in a statement released on Thursday. The woman, Lisa Smith, has been described in press reports as a supporter of the ISIL terror group, and former member of the Irish military.

Missile strike kills at least 12 civilians, including children, in Syria’s Idlib: UN humanitarians

Violence in Syria continues to kill and maim civilians with reports that missiles fired into settlements for people fleeing conflict in the country’s northwest on Wednesday night, killed at least 12 people and wounded dozens more, including children, UN humanitarians said on Thursday.

Israeli settlements remain ‘flagrant violation’ of international law, UN envoy tells Security Council

Regardless of any national policy declarations, Israeli settlement activities are “a flagrant violation under international law”, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process spelled out to the Security Council on Wednesday.

UN ‘regrets’ new US position on legality of Israeli settlements

The longstanding position of the UN regarding Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory – that they are in breach of international law – is unchanged, Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said during a press briefing on Tuesday in New York, reacting to the policy reversal announced by the United States.

At UN, Middle East countries discuss steps towards regional nuclear-free zone

Representatives from across the Middle East are meeting at UN Headquarters this week in efforts to negotiate a legally binding treaty establishing a regional zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.

Over 1 million health consultations provided in Yemen in 2019: UN migration agency

Since the beginning of the year, the UN Migration Agency has carried out over one million health consultations for displaced and conflict-affected Yemenis and migrants struggling to reach the help they need, the organization announced on Friday.

Renewal of cross-border aid operation critical to northern Syria: UN relief chief

The top UN humanitarian official was in the Security Council on Wednesday to appeal for the renewal of an operation that delivers life-saving food and other aid relief to some four million civilians in northern Syria.