Asia Pacific

Sri Lanka heading in 'authoritarian direction', says UN human rights chief

Although the fighting is over, the suffering is not, the United Nations human rights chief today said wrapping up a week-long visit to Sri Lanka where she warned that the country is sowing the seeds of future discord by limiting personal freedoms and human rights.

UN mission in Afghanistan condemns Taliban’s killing of civilians in western province

The United Nations mission in Afghanistan today condemned the abduction and killing of six civilians in the western province of Herat.

UN envoy in Afghanistan meets on 2014 polls with independent election chair

Preparations for Afghanistan’s 2014 presidential and provincial council polls are further along than previous elections, the top United Nations official in the country today said after meeting with the independent Afghan body organizing the vote.

UN human rights probe on DPR Korea set to begin hearings in Japan

The United Nations panel set up to investigate human rights violations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) will travel to Japan next week to meet with people who fled the country and those knowledgeable about the abductions of Japanese nationals decades ago.

In Republic of Korea, Ban highlights transformative power of education

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today highlighted education as a powerful tool to advance development worldwide and encouraged academic institutions to collaborate with the United Nations to accelerate progress.

Australia must release refugees subjected to ‘cruel’ treatment – UN rights experts

Australia’s arbitrary and indefinite detention of 46 refugees amounts to “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” the United Nations Human Rights Committee has said, calling for their immediate release.

Myanmar: UN expert urges reconciliation, curbing spread of religious hatred

A United Nations independent expert today urged greater inclusion of women and other minority voices in the peace efforts in Myanmar and called on the Government to fulfil its obligations in stemming the spread of incitement of religious hatred directed against minority communities.

DPR Korea: UN human rights probe set to begin hearings next week

The United Nations panel set up to investigate human rights violations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) will begin a series of public hearings next week in Seoul, Republic of Korea, aimed at gathering information from various witnesses.

DPR Korea: UN calls for $98 million to respond to urgent humanitarian needs

The United Nations today said $98 million is urgently needed to address critical humanitarian needs in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), where some 2.4 million people need regular food assistance.

Wrapping up visit, Ban calls for strengthening bonds between UN and Pakistan

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today hailed the strong partnership between the United Nations and Pakistan on a wide range of issues, and voiced his hope that the country can build on the recent achievement of its first democratic transition between two civilian governments.