Asia Pacific

Indian Ocean tsunami early warning system formally launched at UN meeting

A United Nations commission today formally launched a tsunami early warning system for the Indian Ocean and laid the groundwork for similar initiatives around the world’s seas, haunted by the realization that such an operation could have saved tens of thousands of lives lost in last December’s disaster in South Asia.

UN health agency maintains current level of pandemic alert for bird flu

Although there is no laboratory evidence that human infection with bird flu in Vietnam is occurring more frequently or that the virus is spreading readily among humans, the UN health agency today maintained its current level of alert over a potential pandemic, which in a worst case scenario could kill tens of millions of people worldwide.

Afghanistan: UN-backed disarmament programme officially ends

The disarmament and demobilization phases of Afghanistan’s disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme (DDR), a key United Nations-backed step in setting the country on the road to stability after decades of war and factional fighting, formally ended today with more than 61,000 former combatants disarmed.

UN food programme hails China’s emergence as multilateral aid donor

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today hailed China's continuing emergence as a multilateral aid donor with the departure of a Chinese ship carrying 270 tons of canned fish for Sri Lankan victims of last December's devastating tsunami.

Animation competition marks UN’s 60th birthday in Asia-Pacific region

The United Nations is enlisting the tools of animation from two-dimensional cartoons to computer-aided wizardry to celebrate its 60th anniversary in the Asia-Pacific region.

Chinese economic project wins UN-linked award for sustainable development

A Chinese city’s project for economic development that draws inspiration from traditional medical practices to tackle "imbalances" degrading the environment has been selected by a United Nations-linked panel as the year’s best cultural practice contributing to sustainable development.

UN offers Kyrgyzstan support to protect Uzbek asylum-seekers

Amid mounting international concern over the forced deportation of Uzbek asylum-seekers who fled the recent military crackdown in their country to find safety in neighbouring Kyrgyzstan, the assistant United Nations refugee chief today pledged to help the Kyrgyz Government protect the displaced during the search for durable solutions.

UN refugee agency invited to return to Aceh for tsunami rebuilding effort

The United Nations refugee agency has been invited to return to Indonesia's Aceh province to assist in providing shelter as part of the longer-term effort to recover from the severe damage caused to settlements there by December's Indian Ocean tsunami, the Government of that country announced.

Condemning rising violence in Afghanistan, UN envoy urges coordinated response

With violence in Afghanistan on the rise, the senior United Nations envoy to the country is calling for cooperation between the authorities, international forces and Pakistan's Government to stem the bloodshed and provide hope for lasting stability.

Secretary-General urges Kyrgyz President to stop forcing Uzbek asylum-seekers home

Responding to Kyrgyzstan's forced return of Uzbek asylum-seekers, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today asked the country's president to stop the practice and pledged the world body's support in addressing their plight.