Asia Pacific

Malaysia: UN experts warn new bill restricts right to peaceful assembly

A group of independent United Nations human rights experts today warned that a new bill in Malaysia restricts the right to peaceful assembly with measures such as a ban on street protests and conditional access for media to public gatherings.

UN meeting hears call for greater Asia-Pacific cooperation on development goals

Asia-Pacific countries need to boost their cooperation with each other if the region is to achieve the series of social and economic targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by their 2015 deadline, a United Nations meeting heard today.

Afghanistan and regional partners launch UN plan to boost counter-narcotics efforts

Senior officials from Afghanistan and neighbouring countries today launched a United Nations plan to strengthen counter-narcotics efforts and boost regional stability.

Security Council condemns ‘heinous’ attacks on Afghan civilians

The Security Council has strongly condemned yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif that led to numerous deaths and injuries among Afghan civilians on one of the most important days for Shiite Muslims.

Ban welcomes Indonesia’s ratification of treaty banning nuclear tests

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed today’s ratification by Indonesia of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), and encouraged all States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify this instrument to advance its entry into force.

UN deplores deadly twin attacks on Afghan civilians during Shiite holiday

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations mission in Afghanistan have strongly condemned today’s explosions in Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif that have resulted in numerous deaths and injuries of civilians who had gathered for a Shiite religious observance.

Spanish soccer star kicks off UN campaign to save endangered orangutans

Soccer star Carles Puyol, who led Spain to the World Cup title last year, is the face of a new United Nations campaign to save endangered orangutans that could face extinction within the next few decades.

Challenges are many but Afghanistan’s partners will stay the course – Ban

The challenges ahead as Afghanistan seeks to consolidate peace and development are large but the international community will not be deterred in its support for the country’s efforts, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pledged today at an international conference in Bonn.

UN expert urges Viet Nam to close compulsory rehabilitation centres for drug users

A United Nations expert urged Viet Nam today to close down its compulsory rehabilitation centres for sex workers and drug users, stressing that detention and forced treatment violate their right to health and perpetuate stigmatization and discrimination of those groups in the society.

Vanuatu to become latest State party to International Criminal Court

Vanuatu has become the latest State to accede to the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC), bringing to 120 the number of countries that are parties to the statute, the court reported today.