Asia Pacific

Timor-Leste continues to consolidate peace and development, says UN envoy

With Timor-Leste continuing to consolidate peace and stability and promote development, the United Nations is already planning for the end of a mission in the once troubled country that could serve as an example for other operations, a senior UN official said today.

Sri Lankan farmers need urgent help after losing rice harvest to floods – UN official

Sri Lanka may have lost up to 40 per cent of the national rice harvest to the two waves of floods that ravaged the country in December and January, and inhabitants of the affected areas will need continued humanitarian support until they recover from the destruction, a United Nations official said today.

Nepal: UN urges arrest of suspects in murder of young girl seven years ago

The top United Nations human rights official in Nepal today called on the Government to arrest the four army officers suspected to have carried out the torture and killing of a 15-year-old girl, stressing the need to end impunity for a crime that was committed seven years ago.

UN-backed forum to address legal barriers in Asia-Pacific’s battle against AIDS

Some 150 participants are gathering in Bangkok on Thursday to examine barriers to progress in the AIDS response in Asia and the Pacific, where most countries still maintain laws and practices that curtail the rights of people living with the disease and those at a higher risk of HIV infection, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) said today.

Independent UN expert urges Australia to adopt human rights approach to foreign aid

An independent United Nations expert has urged the Australian Government to adopt a consistent human rights approach in its development aid policy and programmes to facilitate sustainable development and ensure that recipient countries fulfil their human rights obligations.

Security Council urges permanent ceasefire after recent Thai-Cambodia clashes

Voicing grave concern about the recent armed clashes between Cambodia and Thailand, the Security Council today urged the South-East Asian neighbours to establish a permanent ceasefire following closed-door talks on the situation.

Ban calls for greater efforts to tackle child rights violations in Afghanistan

Greater efforts are needed to end grave violations against children in Afghanistan, including their use as child soldiers, sexual violence, killing and maiming, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in a new report to the Security Council.

UN world heritage agency appoints special envoy for Preah Vihear temple

The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today named Koïchiro Matsuura as Special Envoy to address the issue of Preah Vihear, a Hindu temple inscribed on the World Heritage List that has been damaged owing to recent border clashes between Cambodia and Thailand.

Ban ‘appalled’ by reported use of minor in Pakistan suicide bombing

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is “appalled” by reports that a minor was used to carry out today’s suicide attack on an army recruitment centre in Mardan in north-west Pakistan that led to numerous deaths and injuries, his spokesperson said.

As temperatures plummet, UNICEF rushes supplies to vulnerable Pakistanis

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is rushing essential supplies by helicopter to thousands of people in Pakistan who after surviving last year’s devastating floods are now at risk from plummeting winter temperatures.