Middle East

Egypt: UN human rights office voices concern at growing clampdown, attacks on media

Voicing deep concern about the growing threats and attacks on members of the media in Egypt, the United Nations human rights office today urged the authorities to investigate reports of violence against them and to promptly release all journalists imprisoned for carrying out their legitimate activities.

‘No progress to speak of’ as first round of UN-sponsored Syrian peace talks ends

Syrian Government and opposition delegates today wrapped up what United Nations officials hope will be just the first stage of talks to end the country’s civil war, with the chief mediator reporting no breakthrough to stop the “unspeakable suffering” of the Syrian people, including access for humanitarian aid.

UN official urges halt to displacement of Palestinians as Israel continues demolitions

A senior United Nations relief official today called for a halt to the displacement of Palestinians in the Jordan Valley, after 66 people, including 36 children, were uprooted in the latest round of Israeli demolitions in the area.

First round of Syria peace talks will end tomorrow with little headway – UN-Arab League envoy

After a “tense but rather promising” meeting today between representatives of the Syrian Government and the main opposition group on reaching a political end to the country’s three-year-civil war, the United Nations/Arab League mediator said that the first round of talks will end tomorrow with no serious breakthrough and no major change in the position of either side.

Syria: UN ready to rush food, medicines into besieged Homs once green light is given

United Nations trucks in Syria are on standby to deliver urgently needed food and medicines to 500 besieged families who have been trapped in the Old City of Homs without any aid for almost two years, once the warring parties allow access, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) announced today.

Independent UN human rights expert urges Qatar to reform its justice system

An independent United Nations human rights expert has urged Qatar to make use of what she called its “privileged position” and embark on the reforms needed to consolidate its justice system and address its shortcomings.

Egypt: top UN human rights official urges investigations amid escalating violence

The top United Nations human rights official today voiced grave concern about the escalating violence in Egypt, and called for a prompt investigation into recent incidents that have led to scores of deaths and injuries.

Syria talks turn to political issues as question of aid delivery stalls – UN-Arab League envoy

Discussions on humanitarian issues at the Syria talks in Geneva “have not produced much,” said the Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States today, but he added “there is still hope,” and the talks will resume tomorrow.

Syria: Civilians to be allowed out of Homs, UN-Arab League envoy says

The Syrian Government has agreed to allow women and children in the besieged Syrian city of Homs to leave “immediately”, the Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States today said after a second day of face-to-face talks in Geneva.

Syria: first face-to-face talks off to a 'good' start, UN-Arab League envoy says

Representatives of the Syrian Government and opposition groups today discussed humanitarian issues and tomorrow will focus on release of prisoners and kidnapped victims, the Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States today said following the opposing sides' first ever meeting at a negotiating table.