Middle East

First Person: The ‘bravery’ of Afghanistan's girls and women

Afghanistan’s girls and women are showing “bravery” in the face of real “fears and pressures” following the formation of the new, de-facto authorities in Afghanistan,  according to a UNICEF member of staff, one of the few westerners to remain in Kabul.

Sanctions are ‘US way of war’, Iranian President at UN

In his speech to the high-level General Debate at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi called for an end to United States sanctions against his country, describing them as a method of waging war.

Afghanistan: Security Council resolution calls for ‘equal and meaningful participation of women’  

The Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution renewing the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on Friday, specifying the importance of “equal and meaningful participation” of women in public life. 

Lebanon crisis: More international assistance needed urgently - WHO chief 

Lebanon’s enduring economic crisis risks reversing decades of gains in people’s wellbeing, the head of the UN World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.    

Syria ‘caught in a downward spiral’ UN relief chief tells Security Council 

The UN humanitarian affairs chief warned on Wednesday that Syria, after more than a decade of war, remains “caught in a downward spiral” and that “the country will continue to be a place of tragedy, so long as the conflict continues.” 

After 10 years of war in Syria, siege tactics still threaten civilians

The future for Syria’s people is “increasingly bleak”, UN-appointed rights experts said on Tuesday, highlighting escalating conflict in several areas of the war-ravaged country, a return to siege tactics and popular demonstrations linked to the plummeting economy.

IAEA strikes deal with Iran on monitoring of nuclear programme  

The UN atomic watchdog reached an agreement with Iran on Sunday allowing the Agency access to surveillance cameras inside its atomic facilities. 

First Person: Human trafficking, migrant smuggling, still significant threats in Asia

Human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants are going to remain significant threats to human security, that’s according to a trafficking and migrant expert working in the Middle East and Asia region for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

INTERVIEW: UN aid chief on humanitarian relief for Afghanistan, women’s rights and the Taliban

A major funding appeal for Afghanistan is due to take place on Monday, 13 September. Ahead of the launch, Martin Griffiths, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, took part in an interview with UN News, in which he reiterated his belief that the country’s new Taliban leaders understand the significance placed by the international community on upholding women’s rights, and on providing guarantees so that aid agencies can function. 

First Person: A refuge from COVID misinformation

The COVID-19 inoculation is "just like any other vaccine" a UN Women staff member is telling the Syrian refugee women she cares for in camps in Jordan, as she tries to combat misinformation and false rumours, and avoid spikes in infection.