Category: Peace and Security

Syria: ‘Glimmers of humanity’ overshadowed by brutality of attacks on civilians, says UN aid chief

Families evacuated from East Ghouta, Syria, congregate in the courtyard of the Dahit Qudsayya collective shelter for basic aid. Photo: OCHA/Josephine Guerrero

With fighting intensifying on numerous fronts in Syria over the past months, the top United Nations humanitarian official today urged consolidation of the nationwide ceasefire, most importantly a pause in fighting on the outskirts of Damascus, to enable the delivery of aid. “The Secretary-General has said time and again that there will be no military […]

‘Progress under threat,’ warns UN chief on twentieth anniversary of chemical weapons convention

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United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warned that progress made in eliminating the world’s declared stockpiles of chemical weapons is threatened by belligerents in the Middle East. “The recent attack in Syria was a horrific reminder of the stakes,” said Mr. Guterres in a video message to the commemorative ceremony for the 20th anniversary of the […]

Syria: UN aid officials urge end to airstrikes on hospitals

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Following reports of airstrikes that damaged hospitals in northern Syria, two senior United Nations humanitarian officials called for an end to such attacks. In a joint statement, Kevin Kennedy, Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, said that “it is completely unacceptable that facilities and people who are trying to save lives are being bombed.” […]

Venezuela: UN urges all efforts be made to lower tensions in Venezuela

Shoppers wait in line for five hours to buy a ration of bread from a small bakery in Cumaná, Venezuela. Photo: Meridith Kohut/IRIN

The United Nations today expressed concern about the latest developments in Venezuela, calling on the Government and the opposition to address the country’s challenges for the benefit of the people. “We call on the Government of Venezuela and the opposition to engage sincerely to reactivate dialogue efforts,” according to a statement attributable to UN spokesman […]

Middle East engulfed by ‘perfect storm’ – one that threatens international peace, warns UN envoy

A family displaced by fighting between ISIS and Iraqi security forces carry their belongings as they walk through the destroyed western neighbourhood of Al Mamum, near Mosul, Iraq. Photo: UNICEF/Alessio Romenzi

Reporting on the dire situation across the Middle East region, marked by the largest refugee crisis since the Second World War, fractured societies, proliferation of non-State actors and unbelievable human suffering, a United Nations envoy today reiterated the need for a surge in diplomacy for peace to ease the suffering of innocent civilians. “Let us […]

Unity within Security Council vital to prevent mass atrocities – UN chief Guterres

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Briefing the Security Council, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today stressed the importance of unity in the 15-member body to effectively address human rights violations as well as to prevent mass atrocities. “Article 24 of the UN Charter is clear: the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security rests with this Council […]