Asia Pacific

Asia-Pacific countries paying heavy price for 'grow now, clean up later' policy, UN says

Countries in Asia and the Pacific are paying heavily for a "grow now, clean up later" environmental policy, resulting in major ecological problems, including shrinking forests, widespread land degradation and an overall increase in pollution, according to a new United Nations study.

UN Population Fund helping Afghanistan design first-ever national census

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is helping the Government of Afghanistan to organize the country's first-ever national census, a UN spokesman announced today in Kabul.

Papua New Guinea: Security Council urges efforts to remove arms from Bougainville

Members of the United Nations Security Council today urged renewed efforts to remove weapons from Bougainville, an island in Papua New Guinea which fought a 10-year war of independence against the archipelago before a ceasefire was brokered in 1998.

UN's top human rights official welcomes deferment of execution in Philippines

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights today hailed the Government of the Philippines for deferring the execution of a convict who would have been the country's first prisoner to be put to death since 1999.

UN human rights expert 'aghast' at killings of farmers in Okara, Pakistan

A United Nations human rights expert has condemned the killings in Okara, Pakistan, of three tenants at army-occupied farms who were being coerced by the country's Rangers to negotiate a seven-year lease with them or vacate the area.

UN reports declining opium production in Myanmar

Opium production is declining in Myanmar - one of the world's biggest sources of the illegal crop - according to the results of the first-ever comprehensive poppy survey for the country, the United Nations announced today.

Eventual probe of Afghanistan's reported mass graves must protect witnesses - UN envoy

Any probe of alleged mass grave sites in northern Afghanistan must protect potential witnesses, the senior United Nations envoy to the country said today, pledging that the world body would follow-up on the issue.

Afghanistan: one injured as blast rocks area near UN guest house in Kabul

Security is being tightened around the United Nations guest house in the Afghan capital of Kabul following a blast which injured one person on Sunday evening, a spokesman for the world body reported today.

UN's top refugee official meets Afghan President, tours camps for displaced persons

One day after meeting with the President of Afghanistan, the senior United Nations refugee official today travelled to Kandahar to assess the situation of displaced people in the southern part of the country.

Top UN rights official announces technical cooperation programme for East Timor

Arriving in East Timor today, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, announced that her Office was preparing to launch a two-year programme of human rights technical coordination and cooperation with the Government.