Middle East

Political will ‘fundamental’ to realizing a more just and prosperous Iraq: UN envoy

Despite compounding crises that include the COVID-19 pandemic and plummeting oil revenues, a more prosperous and inclusive Iraq can be achieved provided the political will is there, the top UN official in the country told the Security Council during a virtual meeting held on Tuesday.

UN condemns deadly shelling on civilian areas of Libyan capital

The UN Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has condemned several recent attacks on civilian areas of the Libyan Capital, Tripoli, which have reportedly caused deaths and injuries.

Syria violence ‘a ticking time-bomb that must not be ignored’: UN human rights chief

As civilian casualties mount across Syria and human rights violations continue unabated, the UN rights chief expressed serious concern on Friday that some parties to the conflict, including ISIL terrorist fighters, may be using the COVID-19 pandemic as “an opportunity to regroup and inflict violence on the population”.  

Iraq: Guterres welcomes new Prime Minister, calls for ‘meaningful’ reforms

UN Secretary-General António Guterres and his Special Representative in Iraq, welcomed the long-delayed formation of a new Government in Baghdad on Thursday and called for meaningful reforms to be put into place to better the lives of the Iraqi people and strengthen democratic institutions.

Syria: As coronavirus threat intensifies, ceasefire more urgent than ever

Syria desperately needs a nationwide ceasefire to enable its war-weary citizens to access the equipment and resources necessary to combat COVID-19, the UN’s top envoy for the country told the Security Council on Wednesday.  

Common coronavirus enemy, forges some Palestine-Israel cooperation, but West Bank annexation looms

The COVID-19 pandemic is creating opportunities for cooperation that Israelis and Palestinians must embrace to sustain Middle East peace efforts and bring an end to decades of conflict, the United Nations’ top envoy in the region said on Thursday.

Yemen can’t survive war on two fronts, top UN envoy tells Security Council, as coronavirus outbreak looms

With the COVID-19 pandemic threatening to deepen suffering in Yemen, now is the time for rival parties to commit to ending their conflict, UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths told the Security Council on Thursday, during an informal meeting via videoconference.

Syria coronavirus threat sparks broad UN containment effort

The United Nations and its partners are doing their utmost to support a comprehensive, multi-pronged effort to stem the impact of COVID-19 in Syria, where the viral disease has claimed the lives of two people, sickened 23 others and presented epic challenges for ensuring the smooth delivery of life-saving assistance.

UN Middle East envoys urge greater action on COVID-19 ceasefire appeal

In a joint appeal issued on Saturday, the five UN envoys to the Middle East urged warring parties in the region to work towards an immediate end to hostilities, in line with the Secretary-General’s recent call for a global ceasefire during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 in Yemen: Saudi coalition ceasefire declared in bid to contain coronavirus

A ceasefire declaration by Saudi Arabia in war-shattered Yemen that was due to come into effect on Thursday has been welcomed by United Nations chief António Guterres as a way to promote peace and slow the advance of COVID-19.