News by region: Middle East


Iraq: UN human rights office urges investigation into use of force against protestors

24 May – The United Nations human rights office today urged the Government of Iraq to immediately conduct an independent, transparent and effective investigation into the use of force by security forces against protestors outside the Green Zone in Baghdad this past week.


UN chief welcomes municipal elections in Lebanon

24 May – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the holding of municipal elections in Lebanon, which are expected to conclude on 29 May, urging all Lebanese leaders to act responsibly to elect the country’s President, a post vacant for two years, without a further delay, his spokesperson said today in a statement.


New report shows nearly half UN relief agency’s schools affected by conflicts across Middle East

24 May – Nearly half of the 692 schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) across the region have been impacted, attacked or otherwise rendered inoperable by conflict or violence in the last five years, according to a new report unveiled at the World Humanitarian Summit, in Istanbul.


Yemen: UN-mediated peace talks continue following trilateral meeting with Ban in Qatar

23 May – The delegation of the Government of Yemen returned to the negotiating table in Kuwait in the latest round of peace talks today, with the United Nations envoy for the conflict-torn country holding a plenary this morning with both delegations, a UN spokesperson said.


Ban condemns terrorist attacks killing dozens of civilians in two coastal Syrian cities

23 May – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the terrorist attacks today that claimed the lives of dozens of civilians in the Syrian coastal cities of Jableh and Tartous.


UN envoy welcomes resumption of cement deliveries into Gaza

23 May – The United Nations envoy for the peace process in the Middle East today welcomed the decision to resume the private import of cement into Gaza after nearly 45 days of suspension.


In Cairo, UN Security Council consults with Arab League on regional, global issues

21 May – The United Nations Security Council today held an unprecedented consultative meeting in Cairo with delegations of member States of the League of Arab States, discussing, among others, developments of the Palestinian issue, the Middle East peace process, updates on the situation in both Libya and Somalia.


UN rights office ‘appalled’ by Iran’s sentencing of anti-death penalty campaigner

20 May – The United Nations human rights arm today denounced Iran’s sentencing of an already-imprisoned human right defender, Nargis Mohammadi, to 16 years in prison, calling for the immediate release of her and all those detained for merely exercising their human rights.


Syria: credibility of peace talks at risk without renewed truce, aid access, UN envoy warns

19 May – Without improved humanitarian access and a restoration of Syria’s cessation of hostilities, the credibility of the next round of peace talks would be in question, the United Nations envoy mediating the talks said today, vowing to take the "last resort" option of air drops if there is no improvement in access to besieged areas by the first of June.


UN humanitarian coordinator calls on Israeli authorities to stop destruction of aid supplies

18 May – The United Nations humanitarian coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory today condemned the demolition and confiscation of donor-funded humanitarian assistance by the Israeli authorities in the Palestinian community of Jabal al Baba.