Asia Pacific

Credit vital to boosting development in Myanmar, economist says

With 70 per cent of Myanmar’s population dependent on agriculture, credit reform could help the Asian nation reach its full productivity potential and enhance development, Nobel Prize-winning economist Professor Joseph Stiglitz said after a United Nations-backed visit to the country.

Forcible return of Uighurs from Cambodia sparks UN experts’ concern

Two United Nations human rights experts have expressed their concern over the forcible return from Cambodia to China of 20 ethnic Uighur asylum-seekers who had fled violence in their home country.

UN to launch labour rights contest for Cambodian garment workers

Garment workers in Cambodia will have to know their rights to compete in a radio contest being launched by the UN labour organization, with the winners to be announced on International Labour Day in May next year.

Violent clashes between police, Maoists spark UN concern in Nepal

The United Nations human rights office has called for restraint in the wake of clashes between police and protestors on the first day of nationwide strike called by Maoists.

UN refugee agency deplores forced return of Uighur asylum-seekers from Cambodia

The United Nations refugee agency has voiced deep distress at the forcible return of 20 ethnic Uighurs from China who had filed claims for asylum in Cambodia but whose cases had not yet been heard, saying it was part of a disturbing increase worldwide in such cases.

Insecurity and corruption hinder UN assistance in Afghanistan: UN official

The United Nations warned today that insecurity and corruption continue to disrupt humanitarian efforts to the most vulnerable groups in Afghanistan, hindering delivery of food and other forms of aid this winter.

Philippines: UN helps local officials prepare for imminent eruption of volcano

United Nations humanitarian officials are working with authorities in the Philippines to prepare for what scientists believe to be the imminent eruption of Mount Mayon, an active volcano within close reach of tens of thousands of people.

As thousands more flee fighting in Pakistan, UN rushes in tents and supplies

The United Nations refugee agency is rushing hundreds of tents to supplement Government relief efforts in north-west Pakistan, where some 40,000 people have fled an intensification of military operations over the last few weeks.

At UN forum, Asian ministers agree to set up inland transport hubs for landlocked States

Transport ministers from across Asia agreed today to work on a treaty to develop so-called dry ports – inland transport and logistics hubs – as part of a United Nations-backed network of more than 250,000 kilometres of railways and roads to spur intra-regional trade and growth, especially for landlocked countries.

Timor-Leste takes over further security responsibilities from UN

The United Nations handed over further policing responsibilities to Timor-Leste today as part of the gradual transfer of the security functions it assumed in 2006 after dozens of people were killed and 155,000 others – 15 per cent of the population – were driven from their homes in an eruption of violence in the newly independent country.