News by region: Middle East

Central Yemeni city of Taiz under virtual siege, 200,000 need water, food – UN relief chief

24 November – The situation in the central Yemeni city of Taiz has worsened amid intensified fighting since September, with 200,000 civilians living under virtual siege, in dire need drinking water, food, medical treatment, and other life-saving aid, the top United Nations relief official said today.

Syria: UN envoy meets opposition groups on effort to broker ceasefire, political transition

24 November – Stepping up efforts to broker a ceasefire in Syria, the United Nations Special Envoy for the country, Staffan de Mistura, is briefing various opposition groups on latest international efforts to end a five-year conflict that has killed hundreds of thousands and driven millions from their homes.

UN: more than 21 million people in Yemen need basic humanitarian aid

24 November – Some 21.2 million people in Yemen – or 82 per cent of the population – require some kind of assistance to meet their basic needs, according to a recently-published overview of the country’s humanitarian needs for the next year carried out by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Amid violence, ‘glaring lack of hope,’ UN deputy chief urges action to break Israeli-Palestinian impasse

23 November – Nearly 12 months after the launch of the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People with the aim of generating global engagement on ‘the Question of Palestine,’ security and hope in Gaza and in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, remain at a “very low point,” observed UN Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson today.

Security Council calls for eradicating ISIL safe havens in Syria and Iraq

20 November – The United Nations Security Council this evening called on all countries that can do so to take the war on terrorism to territory controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria and Iraq and destroy its safe haven, warning that the group intends to mount further terror attacks like those that devastated Paris and Beirut last week.

UN chief condemns terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank

20 November – The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned yesterday’s terror attacks in Israel and the occupied West Bank that killed five people, including three Israelis, a Palestinian and an American.

Senior UN relief official warns health and education systems in war-torn Yemen ‘near collapse’

19 November – Warning that “humanitarian agencies cannot be a substitute for [Yemen’s] basic services,” a senior United Nations relief official wrapped up a three-day visit to the country stressing that its health and education systems in the country are on the brink of collapse and stressed that “peace is the only solution to prevent a humanitarian disaster.”

Syria: UN envoy cites possibility of ceasefire, future political framework to end conflict

19 November – After briefing an informal session of the United Nations General Assembly about the “deliverables” that had come out of the recent international talks in Vienna on the Syria crisis, UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura today indicated the possibility of a ceasefire in the war-torn country, through continued discussions and with active inclusion of all parties involved in the conflict.

With Lebanon facing multiple challenges, Security Council reiterates support for country’s institutions

19 November – In the wake of last week’s deadly terrorist bombing in Beirut and the ongoing negative impact of the Syrian crisis on Lebanon’s stability, the United Nations Security Council today reiterated “in these challenging circumstances” its strong support for Lebanon’s State institutions, including the Armed Forces and security services, in their efforts to safeguard the country.

Security Council condemns ‘heinous, cowardly’ murders of Chinese, Norwegian citizens by ISIL

19 November – Condemning in the strongest terms the ‘heinous and cowardly’ murder of Chinese citizen, Fan Jinghui, and Norwegian citizen, Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad, by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), the members of the United Nations Security Council today emphasized that such continued acts of barbarism “do not intimidate them, but rather stiffen their resolve.”