U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon has called for a halt to fighting in Yemen at the beginning of Ramadan, which starts later this week, as the world body launches talks aimed at brokering peace.

Ban called Monday for a new "humanitarian pause" to make it possible to get aid to Yemenis in need and called for the warring factions to go beyond that and agree on local cease-fires.

The talks in Geneva are scheduled to last two or three days and Ban said he expects the final delegations will arrive later Monday.

He said that "the region simply cannot sustain another open wound like Syria and Libya."