Asia Pacific

Annan urges lawful approach to Afghan poll dispute as experts named to probe

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today hailed the Afghan people for their historic presidential election on Saturday and urged the candidates to lawfully resolve their dispute over polling irregularities, as the United Nations named two experts to serve on a panel which will probe the complaints.

In Beijing, Annan discusses regional hotspots with China's Foreign Minister

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan held talks today in Beijing with China's Foreign Minister, reviewing key regional developments, including the nuclear programme in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the weekend's elections in Afghanistan.

Afghans turn out for historic elections, with 'uncoordinated' attacks reported

Refugees from Afghanistan living in camps and residents of the war-torn nation cast their ballots today in an historic presidential poll amid sporadic violence that officials said was unsystematic.

Afghanistan finalizes preparations for historic presidential election – UN mission

A day before Afghans go to the polls to cast a vote for president for the first time in their history, the final preparations for the elections have been completed, the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) said today.

Secretary-General strongly condemns bomb attack in Pakistan

Urging action against terrorist attacks, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today strongly condemned the explosion in Pakistan which reportedly left dozens of people dead and many more wounded.

Inspections, diplomacy can help keep nuclear proliferation in check - IAEA chief

Verification of a country's nuclear activities, used together with diplomacy, can be a very effective way of ensuring compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), but the international community must be prepared to take action in the event of non-conformity, the head of the United Nations atomic watchdog has said.

740,000 Afghan refugees in Pakistan have registered to vote, UN mission says

Some 740,000 Afghan refugees living in Pakistan have registered to vote this Saturday in their homeland's first-ever presidential election, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) announced today, as campaigning by the candidates formally ended 48 hours ahead of the poll.

Winner of Afghan presidential poll can hold claim to popular will, UN envoy says

The winner of this Saturday’s presidential election in Afghanistan – the first in its history – can claim to genuinely represent the nation, despite the limitations surrounding the poll process, the senior United Nations envoy to the country said today.

Bougainville not ready to hold elections by end of 2004, UN report says

Although major progress has been made in the peace process in Bougainville in recent months, the province of Papua New Guinea is not expected to hold elections by the end of the year as planned, Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a new report on the United Nations mission there.

UN rights report finds Taliban and other groups still intimidating Afghan voters

The Taliban and other extremist groups continue to intimidate Afghans against voting in this weekend's historic presidential election, and many government officials, local leaders and military or police figures are partisan campaigners on behalf of candidates, a report co-authored by the United Nations mission finds.