News by region: Middle East


'Golden opportunity' missed for progress on intra-Syrian talks, says UN envoy

14 December – A “golden opportunity” has been missed to decide the future of Syria at the end of the latest round of United Nations-supported talks in Geneva, UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura said on Thursday.


UN and partners launch $4.4 billion regional appeal for more than five million Syrian refugees

12 December – A more than $4 billion appeal has been launched to support what one senior United Nations official called on Tuesday “a lost generation” of Syrian refugees caught up in the ongoing conflict.


UN aid official in Yemen urges lifting of blockade, says millions a ‘step away from famine’

11 December – The continuing blockade of ports in Yemen must be lifted, a senior United Nations humanitarian official today urged, calling for greater access to more than eight million people on the verge of famine.


Violence shuts schools, deprives children of medical care in Syria's East Ghouta, warns UNICEF

11 December – Five of the more than 130 children who require immediate medical evacuation have died as they could not access treatment they needed due to the continuing violence across Syria's eastern Ghouta, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has reported, adding that most schools are closed there.


Gaza: UN official releases funds to enable life-saving aid programmes in enclave

8 December – A senior United Nations aid and development official in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) today released $2.2 million to support health, food and livelihood programmes in the Gaza Strip.


UN Middle East envoy warns of 'risk of violent escalation' after US decision on Jerusalem

8 December – Wednesday's decision by United States President Donald Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has been widely welcomed in Israel but it has also caused much anger among Palestinians and anxiety across the Middle East and beyond, the United Nations envoy on the region's peace process told a special Security Council meeting on Friday.


Children not a ‘bargaining chip’ in tug of war between Syrian parties – UN advisor

7 December – The United Nations advisor for Syria said Thursday that obstacles stopping humanitarians from delivering aid and carrying out medical evacuations in besieged parts of the war-ravaged country are not being lifted, and “children are dying” as a result.


UN study uncovers horrors of sexual violence against Syrian refugee boys and men

6 December – A study carried out by the United Nations refugee agency has revealed disturbing details about a little-known side to the Syrian conflict: sexual violence against boys and men.


Issue of Jerusalem must be resolved through direct negotiations between parties, UN chief stresses

6 December – In the wake of the announcement by the United States President recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Wednesday stressed that there is no alternative to the two-state solution and that Jerusalem is an issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the parties.


Amid alarming spike in violence, looming famine, Yemen gripped by uncertainty – UN officials

5 December – Yemen remains gripped by uncertainty after the assassination of the former president and a spike in brutal violence in and around its capital, Sana’a, the United Nations envoy for the war-torn country said Tuesday.