Syria: UN and partners aid evacuation of injured from four besieged towns

More than 460 people, including the seriously injured and their family members, were evacuated from four towns under siege in Syria today with the help of the United Nations and its Red Cross and Red Crescent partners following a local agreement between the fighters on the ground.

UN envoy sets 25 January as target date to begin intra-Syrian peace talks

The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria has set 25 January 2016 as the target date to begin talks between the parties aimed at ending the five-year-old conflict, his spokesperson announced today.

Syria: UN condemns archaeological destruction at major World Heritage site of Bosra

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today condemned the destruction of parts of the ancient Syrian city of Bosra in fighting two days ago, alerting the world art market to potential trafficking in artefacts from the World Heritage site.

Conditions of Syrian refugees in Lebanon worsen considerably, UN reports

Some 70 per cent of the over 1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon now live below the Lebanese extreme poverty line, a big rise over 2014, and food insecurity is mounting, the United Nations reported today, calling for greater access to the domestic labour market to mitigate the crisis.

Security Council approves six-month extension of UN observer force in Golan

The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) for six months, until 30 June 2016, underscoring the need for the Force to have at its disposal all necessary means to carry out its mandate safely and securely, “including technology and equipment to enhance its observation of the area of separation and the ceasefire line, and to improve force protection, as appropriate.

Syria: Security Council demands immediate humanitarian access across battle lines

In its first resolution on Syria since granting the United Nations an enhanced role in seeking to end the five-year-long war, the Security Council today demanded that all parties, particularly the Syrian authorities, immediately open routes across conflict lines and borders to let in vital humanitarian aid.

Syria talks to resume in Switzerland next month

Talks aimed at bringing an end to the conflict in Syria will resume in Geneva in early next year.

That’s according to Michael Møller, the Director-General of the UN Office at Geneva.

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Syria: senior UN officials paint grim picture as Government, allies reportedly attack hospitals

Hospitals, markets and bakeries have been hit, scores of civilians are killed and injured almost daily, and doctors themselves have become targets in escalating fighting and airstrikes in Syria, reportedly by the Government and its allies, a senior United Nations relief official reported today, voicing outrage.

Syria: senior UN official calls for immediate end to use of sexual violence by all sides as weapon of war

Welcoming the Security Council's unanimous adoption of a blueprint for peace in Syria, a senior United Nations official has called on all sides to immediately stop using sexual violence as a tactic in the fighting tearing the country apart.

In first political resolution on war-torn Syria, Security Council gives UN major role in seeking peace

In its first resolution to focus on the politics of ending Syria’s five-year-long war, the Security Council today gave the United Nations an enhanced role in shepherding the opposing sides to talks for a political transition, with a timetable for a ceasefire, a new constitution and elections, all under UN auspices.