News by region: Middle East


Ban 'deeply regrets' Egyptian court decision to uphold sentences of Al Jazeera journalists

30 August – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed “deep regret' over the decision by the Egyptian court of Cassation to uphold the sentencing of several Al Jazeera journalists and has reiterated his appeal for their cases to be resolved expeditiously and in accordance with the country's international obligations to protect free expression.


Security Council condemns use of sexual violence as ‘tactic of war’ in Iraq and Syria

28 August – The United Nations Security Council today condemned the use of sexual violence, in particular sexual enslavement and sexual violence “related to or resulting from forced marriage, committee, including as a tactic of war, in Syria and Iraq,” and urged all parties to armed conflict to take all feasible steps to protect civilians from such “abhorrent” acts.


Ban strongly condemns use of chemical weapons and toxic chemicals as weapons in Syria conflict

27 August – Deeply disturbed by continuing reports of the use of chemical weapons, as well as the use of toxic chemicals as a weapon in Syria, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today strongly condemned any such use by any party to the conflict and stressed that the entire international community has the responsibility to hold the perpetrators to account.


UN humanitarian chief urges Security Council action to end ‘immense suffering’ of Syrians

27 August – The United Nations humanitarian chief today urged the Security Council to do everything in its power to push for a political solution to end the conflict in Syria, as he described the immense suffering and destruction he witnessed for himself during a recent visit.


UNICEF demands that water not be used to achieve ‘military and political gains’ in Syria

26 August – Amid the unremitting brutality of the war in Syria and a scorching summer heat wave, there is increasing evidence that parties to the conflict are using water to achieve military and political gains, warned the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).


UN agency expresses concern over plight of civilians in southern Lebanon refugee camp

25 August – The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) called today for restraint in the wake of 24 August clashes between various armed groups that have seriously impacted the refugee community in southern Lebanon’s Ein el Hilweh Camp in Saida.


Yemen: warning of ‘a lost generation,’ UN child rights envoy urges end to grave violations against children

25 August – Alarmed by the dramatic increase in grave violations against Yemen’s children, the United Nations Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict has called on all parties to respect their obligations under international law to safeguard civilians from harm, including children.


UN atomic energy watchdog will need more than $10 million a year to assess Iran’s nuclear capacity

25 August – The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today presented to its member States for approval a report outlining a 9.2 million euros-a-year (roughly $10.5 million) programme to carry out the verification and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear-related commitments as set out in the landmark international agreement reached last month with the Government of Iran.


Civilian needs mount in Yemen as medical supplies dwindle – UN health agency

24 August – Life saving medicines, trauma kits and blood bank supplies are urgently needed in war-ravaged Yemen, where nearly half the country’s health facilities have shut down, leaving thousands of injured civilians with fewer and fewer places to seek emergency assistance, according to the UN health agency.


Iraq: UN hotline set up to reach out to displaced Iraqis scattered in hard-to-reach areas

24 August – United Nations relief agencies today announced the launch of a national hotline in Iraq to respond to the urgent food, medical and shelter needs of people displaced by the fighting now numbering 3.2 million and scattered in over 3,000 hard-to-reach locations across the war-ravaged country.