Asia Pacific

'Clock ticking' for Sri Lanka's civilians, warns UN humanitarian chief

Time is running out for the thousands of civilians trapped in northern Sri Lanka amid the ongoing conflict between Government forces and Tamil rebels, the United Nations humanitarian chief warned today, appealing once again for a temporary halt in fighting to assist the innocents.

Pakistan: UN assessment team arrives ahead of Bhutto probe

A United Nations technical assessment mission has arrived in Pakistan to carry out preparatory work for the fact-finding commission being set up to look into the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, a spokesperson for the world body said today.

UN suggests anti-corruption measures for Cambodian genocide court

A senior United Nations legal official today underscored the need to address allegations of corruption surrounding the genocide tribunal in Cambodia, which has begun the first trial of a suspect accused of crimes committed during the notorious Khmer Rouge “killing fields” regime of the late 1970s.

Sri Lanka: UN expert calls for 'humanitarian pause' to save trapped civilians

The United Nations advocate for displaced persons today called for urgent measures to save civilians trapped in a tiny pocket of northern Sri Lanka by fighting between the Government and Tamil rebels.

Slain Sri Lankan journalist honoured with UN press freedom award

Sri Lankan journalist and editor Lasantha Wickrematunge, who was assassinated on 8 January this year, has been named as the laureate of the 2009 World Press Freedom Prize by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

UN agency calls for safety of Afghan hospitals and medical staff

A senior United Nations health official today called for medical facilities and staff to be protected in Afghanistan, speaking on the eve of World Health Day, which this year focuses on ensuring the safety of hospitals.

Secretary-General welcomes release of UN staffer held in Pakistan

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed his happiness at the safe release of a United Nations staff member who was abducted in Pakistan two months ago, voicing his appreciation for the efforts of Government officials and others in securing his release.

Experts hail Australia’s backing of UN declaration of indigenous peoples’ rights

Three United Nations experts today welcomed Australia’s endorsement of the United Nations landmark declaration outlining the rights of the world’s estimated 370 million indigenous people and outlawing discrimination against them.

Aid to Myanmar not enough to meet existing needs – UN relief official

The level of humanitarian assistance that is currently being provided in Myanmar is much lower than the actual needs of the people, a senior United Nations relief official said today at a donors meeting in Yangon, calling for increased support for cyclone-affected communities and others.

UN asks Thailand for clarification on situation of Hmong BBC guide

The United Nations refugee agency is asking the Thai Government for clarification regarding allegations that a Lao Hmong man, who served as a guide for BBC journalists in Laos’ jungles, was mistreated in a camp in northern Thailand.