Middle East

Annexing Jordan Valley would end ‘illusion’ of a meaningful two-State solution: UN rights expert

Israel’s intention to annex the Jordan Valley is illegal and threatens chances for a meaningful two-State solution with the Palestinians, a UN independent human rights expert has said.

Crop yields are up in Syria, but higher prices still cause major strain: new UN report

A new UN report on Thursday shows that while improved security and rainfall across Syria's farming areas have boosted the country’s harvests, higher prices mean that many citizens are still struggling to feed their families.

As Yemen relief operations face funding gap, timing of surge in violence ‘couldn't be worse’

The situation in Yemen is “very fragile”, the top United Nations humanitarian official there has warned, noting that as many as 13 people have been killed and at least 70 wounded over the past three days during clashes in two governorates.

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: UN envoy on Middle East peace process, child labour in Nepal, latest deadly Mediterranean shipwreck, DRC's Goma 21-days free of Ebola transmission, UN chief urges ban on nuclear testing

A recap of Tuesday's stories: UN envoy says tangible steps 'can, and must be taken' to reverse the 'negative trajectory' of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; child labour case in Nepal highlights 'widespread and systematic' abuse; some 40 people drowned off the coast of Libya in Mediterranean shipwreck; DR Congo's Goma passes key 21-day period free of Ebola transmission; and UN chief calls for global support in putting an end to nuclear weapons testing. 

 

‘Complete political deadlock’ over Middle East peace risks more violence, regional escalation, warns UN envoy

Tangible steps “can, and must, be taken” to urgently reverse the “negative trajectory” of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and revive the peace process, a senior United Nations envoy told the Security Council on Tuesday. 

Lack of funds forces UN to close down life-saving aid programmes in Yemen

The United Nations announced on Wednesday that it is being forced to close down several humanitarian programmes in Yemen because money pledged by Member States to pay for them has “failed to materialize”. 

Urgent need for ‘restraint and genuine dialogue’ in Middle East to avoid major confrontation

Briefing the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, the Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General, Maria Luiza Viotti, said on Tuesday that “restraint and genuine dialogue are urgently needed”, in order to avoid a major confrontation, which would have disastrous consequences, even well beyond the region. 

‘No time to lose’ UN envoy tells Security Council, ‘Yemen cannot wait’

One month ago, the United Nations top Yemen envoy told the Security Council the country was facing “a crucial moment” in the course of its long and bloody conflict, and on Tuesday, he again urged members to acknowledge that recent infighting around the Government stronghold of Aden were “a clear sign” that the conflict must be brought to a swift, peaceful end.

Three more humanitarian workers killed in Syria, with civilian death toll ‘rising every day’

An attack in the south of Syria’s restive Idlib province that led to the deaths of a paramedic, an ambulance driver and a rescue worker, were added to the grim total on Thursday of more than 500 civilian fatalities documented in the country by the United Nations, over the past three and a half months alone.

Steps taken to end Saudi ‘guardianship’ system for women, ‘encouraging’ start

Allowing Saudi women to apply for passports and travel without their guardians’ permission is “an encouraging move” towards the “complete abolition of the ‘guardianship’ system,” independent United Nations rights experts said on Thursday, but more action is needed to fully dismantle these restrictions.