Asia Pacific

UN peacekeeping chief lauds ‘good’ progress on visit to Afghanistan

The head of United Nations peacekeeping operations wrapped up a five-day visit to Afghanistan today by highlighting the political and economic progress achieved over the last decade and lauding the supportive role played by the world body.

Rising use and trafficking of illicit stimulants threaten security, health in Asia – UN

The rising manufacture, trafficking and use of methamphetamines in East Asia and Southeast Asia pose a growing threat to public health and security in the region, as transnational organized criminal groups become increasingly involved, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said today.

Ban outlines steps to promote development in ‘Silk Road’ nations

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today encouraged countries in Central Asia and the South Caucasus to diversify their economies and put in place measures that will help ensure the success of their economic and political transitions.

Bollywood star to focus on child nutrition in new role as UNICEF ambassador

One of Bollywood’s biggest names, the actor-producer Aamir Khan, today became the newest Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), teaming up with the UN agency to promote better nutrition for children.

Visiting UN cemetery, Ban honours soldiers that fell in line of duty

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today became the first United Nations chief to visit the UN Memorial Cemetery in the Republic of Korea (ROK) and pay respect to the 2,300 soldiers that died in the line of duty during the Korean War in the early 1950s.

UN rights chief welcomes shift in Australian asylum policy

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay today welcomed Australia’s newly announced change in its asylum policy to allow some undocumented migrants arriving by boat – currently sent to mandatory detention – to be placed in the community on bridging visas.

With Constituent Assembly extended, Ban calls on Nepal to advance peace process

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today noted the decision to extend Nepal’s Constituent Assembly, which is tasked with drafting the new constitution, and called on all parties to fulfil their commitments to take the peace process forward.

DPR Korea must act now to end human rights violations, says UN expert

An independent United Nations expert today urged the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to begin carrying out steps to end human rights violations in the country, including overhauling the prison system and detention policies.

Senior UN official lauds trilateral pact to halt drug smuggling from Afghanistan

The head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) today praised counter-narcotics ministers from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran on a new agreement that will increase the exchange of information to tackle drug trafficking in the region.

Korean soccer ace joins UN campaign in fight against HIV/AIDS

The United Nations has added a new player to its star-studded roster fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS, Korean soccer icon Myung-Bo Hong, whose defensive prowess will now be used to help block further infections by raising awareness among young people worldwide.