Asia Pacific

UNICEF joins Afghan Government in fighting adult illiteracy

Responding to the plight of Afghanistan’s 8 million illiterate adults, more than 200 literacy teacher trainees, the vast majority women, have embarked upon tutor training programmes in three western provinces as part of a joint Government-United Nations effort to improve reading skills among the older generation.

Head of UN World Health Organization, Lee Jong-wook, dies aged 61

Lee Jong-wook, Director-General of the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO), who made the fight against HIV/AIDS a hallmark of his tenure and led global preparations for a possible human bird flu pandemic, died today after a short illness, aged 61.

Afghanistan: UN mission has no plans to close offices in conflict-torn south

Although the security situation in southern Afghanistan has deteriorated over the past six months, the United Nations mission in the country has no plans to move out of the area, a spokesman said today.

Sri Lanka: UN ‘appalled’ by ‘despicable’ attacks on aid organizations

A senior United Nations officer in Sri Lanka today called on the Government and rebels fighting in the north and east of the country to ensure the safety of all humanitarian aid organizations there following yesterday’s grenade attacks on three non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the earlier shooting dearth of a Norwegian aid worker.

UNESCO chief condemns murder of freelance journalist in Indonesia

The Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today condemned the murder of a freelance journalist named Herliyanto, who had been reporting on local corruption when he was found stabbed to death in Takoran, Indonesia.

World Health Assembly mourns death of UN health agency chief

The World Health Assembly opened its session in Geneva today in a sombre mood following the death of the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Dr Lee Jong-wook, who died at age 61 this morning after a blood clot was removed from his brain over the weekend.

Continuing Asian trip, Annan confers with Chinese Prime Minister

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today conferred with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao on a wide spectrum of issues including UN-China cooperation, UN reform, the Millennium Development Goals that seeks to slash a host of socio-economic ills by 2015, and China's contribution in Africa.

After meeting Aung San Suu Kyi, UN envoy leaves Myanmar

Completing a round of wide-ranging discussions with officials in Myanmar in what marked the first high-level talks between the United Nations and the country in more than two years, a senior envoy from the world body met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

UN health agency chief hospitalized

Dr. Lee Jong-wook, the Director-General of the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO), is currently recovering from surgery at the Cantonal Hospital in Geneva after the removal of a blood clot from his brain, the agency reported today.

UN rights chief stresses vital need for independent judiciary in Cambodia

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour wrapped up a one-week visit to Cambodia today, stressing the “capital importance” of an independent, professional judiciary not only for the consolidation of democracy but also for resolving issues of impunity, land conflicts and corruption in the Southeast Asian country.