Asia Pacific

UN nuclear agency chief discusses Iran’s programme with US Secretary of State Rice

The head of the United Nations atomic watchdog agency is in Washington for talks with senior United States officials on a raft of issues ranging from Iran’s controversial nuclear programme to the recent US-Indian cooperation deal to new ways of containing sensitive nuclear technology.

Millions of Afghans could go hungry as lack of funds forces UN food agency to cut aid

Due to a critical shortage of funds and resources, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) will soon be forced to abandon plans to provide around 2.7 million of the poorest and most vulnerable Afghans with vital food aid to help them through the winter, the agency said today.

UN-backed drama on Lao TV spotlights perils of child trafficking

A compelling television drama produced with United Nations support about a Lao teenage girl who is trafficked abroad, where she suffers both physical and sexual abuse, had its national premiere on Lao Television today as part of a campaign to warn young people of the dangers they face and to stimulate awareness and discussion.

UNICEF helps Viet Nam improve rural water supply, sanitation

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has joined 13 other international organizations in a unique partnership to improve water supply, sanitation and hygiene for rural communities and schools in Viet Nam.

Annan calls for intensified diplomacy on Iranian nuclear dispute

On the fourth leg of an Asian trip today, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan praised the progress made by his Vietnamese hosts while calling for intensified efforts to reach a diplomatic solution on the Iranian nuclear dispute, indicating that the United States should talk directly with Iran and pledge not to seek the Government’s overthrow.

After concluding high-level talks in Myanmar, UN official hopes for better ties

After two years of isolation, the Myanmar Government seems willing to engage in a dialogue with the international community, a senior United Nations official just back from three days of talks with the country’s top officials said today.

UN supports dialogue in Timor-Leste

With quiet returning to Timor-Leste following recent violence, the UN Office in the country (UNOTIL) is supporting the Government’s proposed initiative to convene a meeting with representatives of the dissident groups in order to engage in a dialogue, a UN spokesman said today.

China has major role to play in ensuring fair globalization, multilateralism – Annan

In the third of his lectures at Asian universities, Secretary-General Kofi Annan told Beijing students today that China’s engagement with the United Nations was essential as the world faces the challenges of achieving fair globalization, promoting multilateralism and protecting the human rights of all people in every country on earth.

2,000 refuges pour into Thailand from Myanmar, citing conflict and abuses – UN

Some 2,000 refugees from Myanmar have flooded into Thailand over the last three months, citing renewed conflict and human rights abuses in Kayin state, with 400 crossing the border last week alone and more expected, the United Nations refugee agency reported today.

Sri Lanka: UN’s top rights chief voices concern over killings of civilians

Voicing deep concern about increasing killings of civilians, including children, in Sri Lanka, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights today urged the parties to take immediate steps to defuse the violence, resume dialogue and strengthen measures to protect against abuses.