Asia Pacific

Secretary-General congratulates new Cambodian king

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today congratulated King Norodom Sihamoni for his election as Cambodia’s new King and Head of State.

UN-Afghan electoral authority isolates some ballots as counting of votes begins

The counting of votes in Afghanistan's historic presidential election began today after officials from the joint United Nations-Afghan electoral authority agreed to isolate some ballot boxes for further investigation of alleged polling irregularities.

1 in 3 children in Eastern Europe and Central Asia suffer poverty, UN report finds

One youngster in three still lives in poverty in Eastern Europe and Central Asia despite economic progress in every country, revealing a stark absence of initiatives to tackle the serious social disparities affecting children in those regions, a report released today by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) finds.

Annan heads to Ireland after wrapping up official visit to China

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan headed to Ireland today after wrapping up an official visit to China by holding talks with President Hu Jintao.

UN helicopter team in Afghanistan rescued after spending night in mountain area

Eight members of a United Nations team stranded overnight in northeastern Afghanistan when their helicopter was forced to land in remote, mountainous terrain are now reported to be well after being rescued today.

Experts gather for UN meeting to tackle flow of heroin from Afghanistan

United Nations officials and senior policy-makers from around the world are meeting today in Vienna to discuss how to halt or reduce the rising flood of heroin being exported from Afghanistan.

Hailing Afghans' patience, civic maturity, Annan says poll probe will bring gains

Congratulating Afghans on "their patience, resilience and civic maturity" during the presidential election process that culminated in Saturday's vote, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said the inquiry into reported polling irregularities will ensure that the procedures are more reliable for local and parliamentary elections scheduled for next year.

Annan tours China's new peacekeeping training centre

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today toured China’s new peacekeeping training centre in the outskirts of Beijing, which was completed just last year for the purpose of readying civilian police for United Nations operations.

Security Council urges Afghans to tackle key post-election challenges

Welcoming Saturday's presidential election in Afghanistan, and congratulating the millions of voters for their "commitment to democracy," the Security Council today urged the Afghan Government to focus on the challenges of improving security, continuing the disarmament of ex-fighters, battling the illegal drug trade and preparing the country for parliamentary elections next April.

Opium cultivation in Myanmar dropping steadily, UN drug office reports

Opium cultivation in Myanmar dropped 29 per cent this year compared to 2003, continuing a steady decline that began nearly a decade ago, according to the annual country survey released today by the United Nations anti-drug office.