Asia Pacific

UN drug control agency reports sharp drop in Afghanistan's poppy cultivation

Opium production in Afghanistan dropped sharply this year, according to the results of a major survey released today by the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP).

Ex-militia leader and nearly 400 refugees return to East Timor: UN Mission

A key ex-militia figure and more than 370 refugees returned to East Timor from camps in Indonesian West Timor today in a process facilitated by independence leader Xanana Gusmão, former pro-autonomy leaders and the United Nations Transitional Administration in the territory (UNTAET).

Security Council members hold initial talks on future UN role in Afghanistan

Members of the Security Council today met in closed consultations with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his top envoy for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, to begin initial discussions on UN's potential role in the country.

UN agencies seek urgent funding for Afghanistan relief efforts

With severe winter temperatures just a month away in Afghanistan, United Nations agencies working in the country and surrounding region urged donor governments today to respond more rapidly to emergency appeals for funding.

Facing severe shortfall, Tajikistan needs food assistance, UN agency says

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today appealed for urgent food aid for 1 million people who are suffering from a devastating two-year drought in Tajikistan, one of the poorest of the former Soviet Republics.

Links between Afghan drug trade, terrorism stressed at Vienna talks: UN agency

A group of countries meeting in the framework of the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) said today that the Afghan heroin trade was continuing unchecked and needed urged response, especially in view of its links to terrorism.

Annan calls on all parties to minimize civilian casualties in Afghanistan

Amid the emerging reports about casualties among the civilian population in Afghanistan, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today voiced regret over the tragic loss of life caused by the intensified conflict in the country and stressed that all concerned must work for the protection of innocent civilians and humanitarian workers.

UN envoys for Afghanistan arrive in New York for consultations

Two United Nations envoys who are dealing with various aspects of the situation in Afghanistan have arrived in New York for high-level meetings at UN Headquarters, a spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today.

Afghanistan: UN officials urge protection for civilians and aid workers

With military action continuing in Afghanistan, United Nations officials today urged protection for civilians as well as aid workers trying to provide relief to the country's destitute and suffering people.

UN refugee agency reports rise in organized smuggling networks for Afghans

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today reported a rise in the number of Afghans being smuggled out of their country through costly illegal channels.