Asia Pacific

Timor-Leste: UN officials continue talks to end violence; funding shortfall threatens aid

As United Nations envoys continued their efforts today to calm tensions and plan for a possible expanded UN police force in Timor-Leste, a funding shortfall is threatening food supplies for 155,000 people, 15 per cent of the total population, displaced by the violence that ripped through the small South-East Asian nation over the past two months.

Timor-Leste: as demonstrators mass, UN envoys seek to calm tensions

With thousands of demonstrators milling around in the Timor-Leste capital of Dili, United Nations envoys today stepped up their efforts to calm tensions and plan for a possible expanded UN police force in the small South-East Asian nation that the world body shepherded to independence from Indonesia just four years ago.

UN needs funds to prevent thousands of Afghans from drifting back to armed groups

With tens of thousands of illiterate and unskilled former child soldiers in Afghanistan providing a tempting target for recruitment by one of the war-torn country’s numerous armed groups, United Nations agencies need additional funds to continue training projects to reintegrate them as members of a peaceful society.

UN agency puts forward eight-point plan to help Asia-Pacific benefit from global trade

Developing countries of Asia and the Pacific need bold new domestic policies in order to benefit from free trade, and industrialized economies should back fairer trade rules giving poorer nations the chance to compete in the global marketplace, according to a new United Nations report that lays out an eight-point strategy for development.

UN anti-narcotics chief calls for wide-spectrum action against Afghan opium production

Afghanistan, the world’s largest opium producer, is already a “narco-economy” and risks becoming a “narco-state,” with drug production its largest employer, the top United Nations drugs and crime fighter warned today.

UN human rights agency calls on Maoist Communist Party of Nepal to prevent abuses

Expressing concern that civilians in Nepal continue to be abducted and held by the Maoist Communist Party (CPN-M), the United Nations human rights agency has called for the group to prevent and investigate all allegations of such abuses, warning that abductions of non-combatants for any reason violates international human rights standards.

UN-backed tsunami early warning system set to become operation in Indian Ocean

Eighteen months after the Indian Ocean tsunami killed more than 200,000 people in a dozen countries, a United Nations-backed early warning system, which experts say could have saved scores of thousands of lives had it existed at the time, is on schedule to become operational for the entire region by the end of July.

UN regional unit sounds alarm on spread of HIV/AIDS among Asia-Pacific youth

With 60 per cent of new HIV infections in Thailand and Vietnam among young people, a report released today by the United Nations commission for regional development in the Asia-Pacific region calls on governments in the area to target youth in the fight against the pandemic.

Timor-Leste: Annan appeals for calm after new violence threatens displaced people

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on the people of Timor-Leste to show calm and unity after renewed violence erupted even as his special envoy conferred with key leaders over an increased United Nations presence in the small South-East Asian nation that the UN shepherded to independence from Indonesia just four years ago.

UN election mission to Bangladesh ‘deeply troubled’ by level of violence ahead of polls

Calling for dialogue among key political parties in Bangladesh, a United Nations electoral assistance mission said today it was “deeply troubled” by the high level of political violence in the country as it prepares for polls scheduled for next January.