Asia Pacific

Malaysia: UN rights office urges Government to rethink ban of civil society group

The United Nations human rights office today expressed concern about a decision by the Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs to declare illegal a coalition of 54 mainly non-Islamic civil society groups focused on human rights known by the acronym COMANGO.

Timor-Leste becomes first Asia-Pacific country to launch UN’s Zero Hunger Challenge

Timor-Leste, Asia-Pacific’s youngest country, today became the region’s first to launch a national campaign under the United Nations Zero Hunger Challenge, which seeks to ensure universal access to food in the face of looming threats such as climate change.

Cambodia: UN rights office decries use of excessive force against protesters

The United Nations human rights office today expressed deep concern about what it said is disproportionate use of force by law enforcement officials responding to protesters in Cambodia, and urged authorities and security forces to exercise utmost restraint.

Nepal: Pillay welcomes Supreme Court ruling against amnesty for serious crimes

A senior United Nations official has welcomed a decision by Nepal's top court against granting amnesty for serious human rights violations committed during a decade-long civil war calling it a “significant development for the thousands of victims of the conflict”.

Bangladesh: following violence-marred polls, UN chief urges restraint, political dialogue

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, saddened by the deadly violence that marred parliamentary elections in Bangladesh, has today urged restraint, calling such violence “unacceptable” and appealing to the political parties to urgently address the expectations of the country’s people for an inclusive political process.

UN agency praises China’s destruction of ivory stockpile

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today applauded China for its first public effort to crackdown on illegal ivory trade, calling the Government’s destruction of six tonnes of confiscated ivory a “milestone event”.

Cambodia: UN expert urges restraint as police fire on striking garment workers

A United Nations independent human rights expert urged restraint by all sides today after military police opened fire on striking garment workers in Phnom Penh, reportedly killing at least four people, as high social and political tensions in Cambodia boiled over into deadly clashes.