Asia Pacific

East Timor to sign key international treaties, including UN Charter, upon independence

In another key move before independence next month, East Timor's leaders today selected eight international treaties - including the United Nations Charter - for signature immediately upon nationhood.

400,000 Afghans repatriated over last two months, UN refugee agency reports

Two months after the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) launched an assistance programme for returning Afghans, more than 400,000 people have travelled home to Afghanistan, the agency reported today.

UN warns of worsening humanitarian situation in DPR of Korea

The already severe humanitarian crisis in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) will worsen dramatically within weeks unless the international community pledges more aid immediately, the United Nations warned today.

Japanese leader pledges to build close relations with independent East Timor

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi today visited East Timor, where he held talks with senior Government and United Nations officials and pledged to build close relations with the territory following its independence next month.

UN stresses public, private partnerships to fight climate change in Asia and Pacific

With Pacific island nations and low-lying coastal areas facing a growing threat from the effects of global warming, a senior United Nations official in the Asia and Pacific region today stressed the importance of public-private sector cooperation in combating the phenomenon.

Myanmar: UN envoy told reconciliation process is 'back on track'

A United Nations envoy left Myanmar today after having received assurances by the Government that the national reconciliation process was on track despite a coup attempt uncovered in early March.

Security Council sanctions panel updates list of Al-Qaida operatives

The United Nations Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against Al-Qaida and Taliban operatives has added 10 persons or entities to its extensive list of all those subject to the measures.

World community must stay involved in East Timor, Annan tells Security Council

Speaking at the outset of a Security Council debate on East Timor that included the participation of the fledgling nation's President-elect, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today urged the international community to remain involved in the new country as it continued to solidify the institutions of statehood.

Child abuse emerging problem in East Timor, UNICEF reports

Child abuse and commercial sexual exploitation of youngsters in East Timor is an emerging problem requiring a coordinated response from law enforcement and community leaders, according to a study funded by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) released today.

Political, humanitarian progress in Afghanistan 'very encouraging,' Security Council told

After so many years of war and civil conflict in Afghanistan, the political and humanitarian progress of the last several months is very encouraging, although advances are by no means assured, a top United Nations official told the Security Council today as it held an open meeting to discuss the situation in the country.