Asia Pacific

UN labour agency calls on Myanmar to act against forced labour

The United Nations labour agency has called on Myanmar to take “tangible and verifiable” measures within the next few months on the issue of forced labour or face the prospect of further action.

UN announces launch of global alliance for information technologies for development

The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General and Malaysia's Prime Minister today launched the Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Development at a gathering in Kuala Lumpur.

Annan hails Asia cooperation conference for advancing action on key challenges

The Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building in Asia (CICA), which brings together a diverse range of countries from across the region, has a key role to play in advancing responses to major global challenges, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today in a message to leaders gathered in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

UNESCO chief deplores murder of Indian journalist; press freedom vital for democracy

Yet once again defending freedom of the press as a vital ingredient in democracy, the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today condemned the murder of an Indian journalist who wrote about a scam in the world of illegal gambling.

Sri Lanka: top UN rights chief calls on Government to investigate deadly bus attack

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour has called on the Sri Lankan Government to investigate yesterday’s attack on a bus, which reportedly killed 62 civilians and injured more than 40 others, including school-aged children, in a country wracked by a conflict with Tamil separatists.

Timor-Leste: UN expands emergency relief for tens of thousands who fled violence

The United Nations refugee agency has stepped up emergency relief operation in Timor-Leste, reaching out to tens of thousands of people who fled violence in Dili, the capital, for surrounding areas in the small South-East Asian nation that the UN shepherded to independence from Indonesia four years ago.

UN refugee agency rejects report of torture against Montagnard returnees in Viet Nam

The United Nations refugee agency today rejected a recent report from an international non-governmental human rights organization alleging that Vietnamese authorities have been detaining, interrogating and torturing Montagnard asylum seekers who have returned to Viet Nam from Cambodia.

Afghanistan: UN food agency concerned at attacks on schools; faces funding shortfall

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is concerned about the increasing number of threats and attacks on schools in Afghanistan, where it is involved in on-site and take-home rations, school feeding, construction and de-worming programmes.

Afghanistan: senior UN official ‘shocked and saddened’ by deadly bus bombing

The senior United Nations envoy in Afghanistan today sharply condemned the deadly bus bombing that killed more than 10 people in the southern city of Kandahar and called on the authorities to do everything possible to bring those responsible to justice.

UN flag that flew in space on Chinese craft will hang as symbol of peace

A United Nations flag that accompanied China’s first manned space flight was today formally installed at the UN space exhibit in Vienna, as a symbol of the international goal of fostering purely peaceful activities in regions outside the earth’s atmosphere.