• Middle East

    Syrian Women Are Ready to Participate in UN-Led Geneva Peace Talks

    by  • January 20, 2016 • Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Middle East, Syria • 
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    A family in Syria sheltering in the basement of an abandoned school, in March 2013. R. GARCIA VILANOVA/ICRC

    While new Syrian peace talks organized by the United Nations remain tentatively scheduled to begin on Jan. 25 in Switzerland, a substantial group of Syrian women is preparing to convene in Geneva starting that day to demand an equal place at the negotiations table. Staffan de Mistura, the UN special envoy for Syria, who...

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    As Syrian Peace Talks Take Shape, How Will Women Take Part?

    by  • December 26, 2015 • Gender-Based Violence, Middle East, Peace and Security, Security Council, Syria, Women's Issues • 1 Comment
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    Syrian women refugees at the Keleti train station in Budapest, Sept. 4, 2015. MSTYSLAV CHERNOV/CREATIVE COMMONS

    When the United Nations Security Council recently approved timelines to begin peace talks and institute a national cease-fire in Syria, the language in the resolution gave no hint of the magnitude of such undertakings, nor did the congratulatory speeches afterward by diplomats delve into the details. That means the nitty-gritty work is left to...

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    For Female Syrian Refugees Settling Into New Jersey, a Quiet Struggle

    by  • December 16, 2015 • Middle East, Migration, Refugees, Women's Issues • 
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    Syrian refugees

    SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. — For some Syrian refugees, “home” is no longer the plains of war-torn Syria but the densely populated cities of northern New Jersey. Since January this year, 86 refugees have arrived in the state, according to recent data from the Refugee Processing Center, and they have been resettled primarily in Paterson,...

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    At Vienna Talks on Syria’s Future, the UN Finds Several Roles to Play

    by  • November 15, 2015 • Middle East, Peace and Security, Refugees, Security Council, Terrorism • 
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    At the Nov. 14 talks on Syria at the Grand Hotel in Vienna, from left: John Kerry, US secretary of state; Staffan de Mistura, UN special envoy for Syria; Sergey Lavrov, Russian foreign minister. US STATE DEPT.

    The United Nations has wedged its way into playing a monitoring role in a possible cease-fire in Syria and a convening role in gathering the Syrian government and opposition parties to try to meet for formal talks by Jan. 1. The goal is to begin negotiating an end to the prolonged war there, which has...

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    The UN’s Demands to Stop the Violence in Yemen Fall on Deaf Ears

    by  • October 26, 2015 • Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, Middle East, Secretary-General, Security Council • 
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    Saudi led airstrike in Sana

    While the regional coalition led by Saudi Arabia continues its aerial bombardment against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, and as ground troops — from Bahrain, Sudan and United Arab Emirates — join the Saudis in the fray, the pain dealt to civilians, especially children, has been rising ever since the war began in March....

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    More Refugees Destined for Europe, Further Testing Its Ability to Respond

    by  • October 4, 2015 • Middle East, Migration, Refugees • 1 Comment
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    Syrian refugees on the island of Kos, Greece, September 2015. NATALIA TSOUKALA/CARITAS INTERNATIONALIS

    With an astounding 12 million people in Syria displaced from their homes in a population that numbered about 23 million before its civil war began in full fledge in 2012, the questions that inevitably arise are: Why isn’t the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees more actively involved on the ground in Europe, the...

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    Europe Pushes Ahead for More Aid to Syrians and to Disrupt Human Smuggling

    by  • September 29, 2015 • Human Trafficking, Libya, Middle East, Refugees • 
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    EUNAVFOR rescue

    Seizing a chance to respond more coherently to the deadly situation in Syria, the European Union and Jordan are proposing a “resilience plan” to alleviate the humanitarian emergency while pushing for a political course to stop the Syrian government from killing what’s left of its people. The European Union is also moving ahead in...

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