News by region: Middle East


Mosul: UN rights chief urges civilian protection as sniper fire, airstrikes kill dozens

28 March – The top United Nations human rights official today deplored the massive loss of civilian lives in the western sections of Iraq’s Mosul city in recent days due to actions by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da'esh) terrorists as well as airstrikes by the Government forces.


Supporting Syrian refugees not only an act 'of generosity' but also of 'enlightened self-interest' – UN chief

28 March – Visiting the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan that is hosting about 80,000 Syrian refugees, the United Nations chief urged the parties to the conflict in Syria and the countries that have influence over them to realize that the crisis is not only a tragedy for Syrian people but also a threat to regional stability and global security.


Near East and North Africa: Conflicts threaten to erode gains in region’s zero-hunger battle

27 March – Food security and nutrition levels have sharply deteriorated over the last five years in the Near East and North Africa due largely to the spread and magnitude of conflicts and protracted crises, reversing the pre-2010 trend of improvement, a new United Nations report said today.


Children paying the heaviest price as conflict in Yemen enters third year – UN

27 March – As the escalation of the conflict in Yemen enters its third year this week, the top United Nations humanitarian official has called on the parties to the conflict to commit to political dialogue and resolve the situation or risk an unending manmade crisis.


UN envoy calls for urgent measures to protect ceasefire in Syria

25 March – Voicing deep concern over recent escalation of fighting in Syria, the United Nations Special Envoy for the country has urged Iran, Russia and Turkey to undertake urgent efforts to uphold the ceasefire which has been in effect since late December last year.


Hoping to build with 'incremental, constructive steps' – UN envoy for Syria

25 March – Speaking to the media in Geneva yesterday, United Nations Special Envoy for Syria said that he is not expecting miracles, breakthroughs or breakdowns but is hoping to build on the previous rounds of talks on the war-ravaged country with some incremental, constructive steps.


International efforts towards Middle East peace must be matched by steps on the ground – UN envoy

24 March – Noting that international engagement on reviving the Middle East peace process over the last three months reconfirmed the consensus that the two-state solution is the only means of realizing the national aspirations of both peoples a senior United Nations official called for continued expansion of the momentum into a concrete vision to end the wider conflict.


Hundreds of thousands trapped in Mosul with 'worst yet to come' – UN agency

24 March – An estimated 400,000 Iraqi civilians are trapped in Mosul's Old City as fighting intensifies and people continue to flee, the United Nations refugee agency representative today warned.


Two years on, Yemen conflict targets children, food trucks and even fishermen's boats - UN

24 March – The conflict in Yemen is raging, the United Nations human rights chief today warned, urging those fighting to work towards a ceasefire and to allow humanitarian aid to get through to millions of people in need.


Child rights must be at the centre of Syria peace talks – UNICEF

24 March – Those participating the intra-Syrian peace talks in Geneva must put the rights of children at the centre of all their deliberations as children throughout the Middle Eastern country continue to come under attack, a senior United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) official has said.