A humanitarian crisis is under way in Iraq with thousands of civilians fleeing from their homes with nothing, because of the attacks against religious minorities by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) who have taken control of great areas in the north. According to the UN over the last 48 hours 200,000 civilians have fled the advance of ISIL.

More than 30 UN member states have been invited to participate in the international conference of peace on Syria Preparations for the long-sought international conference on Syria, but Iran, the main Syrian ally, is not among them yet

The United Nations team probing the use of chemical weapons in Syria, which in September found “clear and convincing evidence” of Sarin gas attacks against civilians, including children, in the Damascus area, today reported “credible information” that such weapons were used in other parts of the country, the UN news services informs.

Jordan was elected to serve on the UN Security Council for two-years beginning on 1 January 2014 and fill the seat that Saudi Arabia won and rejected earlier in November.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said that he would convene in Geneva on 22 January the long-sought international conference on Syria bringing together the Government and the opposition to a negotiating table for the first time since the conflict started in March 2011.

The UN Security Council has voted unanimously a resolution to secure and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile. If Syria doesn’t comply would bring about “sanctions or stronger coercive action”.