Asia Pacific

Afghanistan needs support to ensure stability, recovery, Annan tells Security Council

Noting progress since the new Interim Authority assumed control of Afghanistan in December, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today told the Security Council that continued international support was needed to ensure the country’s short-term stability and future reconstruction and growth.

Avalanche near Kabul traps 20 cars, UN reports

An avalanche near a tunnel connecting Kabul with the northern part of Afghanistan has trapped about 20 vehicles, a United Nations spokesman said today.

Brahimi asks Security Council to expand international force across Afghanistan

The United Nations top envoy for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, today asked the Security Council to urgently consider expanding the current UN-mandated international force from Kabul to the rest of the country to provide badly needed security.

East Timor: UN mission urges stronger measures to end domestic violence

As part of an ongoing campaign to eradicate domestic violence in East Timor, the United Nations mission joined government officials today in calling for stronger measures to end this blight.

UN refugee agency gears up for returns of Afghans from Iran and Pakistan

As spontaneous returns of Afghans to their home areas from neighbouring countries gained momentum, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today said it was ready to begin helping as many as 250,000 over the next two to three months on their journey back.

WFP announces $285 million plan for Afghanistan relief, reconstruction

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today said it would launch a $285 million programme to provide immediate relief as well as support for the long-term rehabilitation and reconstruction of Afghanistan following three years of crippling drought and 23 years of devastating conflict.

Afghanistan: UN brokers ceasefire between feuding northern factions

The United Nations has brokered a ceasefire agreement between feuding factions in the northern part of Afghanistan, a UN spokesman said today in New York.

UNHCR urges Australia to review policy of detaining asylum seekers

While welcoming the end of protests in Australia's Woomera detention centre, the head of the United Nations refugee agency today urged Canberra to review its policy of detaining asylum seekers.