Asia Pacific

Afghanistan: UN peacekeeping chief vows to stay the course for next five years

The United Nations will stay the course over the next five years in helping Afghanistan through its full transition to peace and democracy after decades of war and civil conflict as tenaciously as it has since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, the head of the world body’s peacekeeping operations said today.

UN agency welcomes Thai decision to expand education for Myanmar refugees

The United Nations refugee agency today enthusiastically welcomed Thailand’s decision to provide broad educational services to over 140,000 refugees from Myanmar living along the border in nine camps in the country.

One year on, UN experts fault tsunami reconstruction as global attention wanes

One year after the Indian Ocean tsunami wreaked havoc on hundreds of thousands of people across a dozen countries, large numbers of survivors remain forced to live in sub-standard conditions and women are increasingly vulnerable to physical and sexual violence, according to two United Nations experts.

Annan: Hong Kong trade talks secured only limited gains for development

Recognizing that there were still “unrealized ambitions” in the arena of fair trade, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today congratulated those World Trade Organization (WTO) participants who negotiated on behalf of the developing countries to secure limited gains at the Hong Kong meeting that ended Sunday.

UNICEF urges Afghanistan's new law-makers to help children

With an historic new Parliament scheduled to be inaugurated in Afghanistan tomorrow, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is urging its newly elected members to ensure that children are top of the new assembly's agenda.

After repatriating 225,000 to Timor-Leste, UN agency ends work in West Timor

After helping the voluntary repatriation of 225,000 people who fled to West Timor to escape the violence after the 1999 referendum on independence for East Timor, the United Nations refugee agency is scheduled to finish six-years of humanitarian operations in the Indonesian half of the island on December 31.

Growing wealth disparities in China attracting government attention – UN report

China’s wealth gap between urban and rural communities is among the highest in the world, but a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report released today finds the Government is coming to grips with the widening disparities that threaten the country’s stability.

UN agency helped nearly half a million Afghans return from Pakistan in 2005

With the year’s last convoys leaving Pakistan for Afghanistan before winter sets in, over 445,000 Afghans will have returned home from in 2005 under the voluntary repatriation programme of the United Nations refugee agency.

UN General Assembly adopts resolution on human rights abuse in DPR Korea

The United Nations General Assembly adopted for the first time today a resolution on human rights violations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) reflecting its serious concern over reports of torture, public executions, arbitrary detention, the lack of due process, extensive use of forced labor, high rates of infant malnutrition and restrictions on humanitarian organizations.

Year after tsunami, conditions remain critical in many areas, UN agency warns

With the first anniversary of the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami fast approaching, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned today that many areas on the west coast of Aceh, Indonesia, the worst affected region, were still in a critical condition.