Asia Pacific

UN demining official warns of budget gap if no new donors come forward

After benefiting from a surge in funding following the fall of the Taliban at the end of 2001 and consequently clearing over half the minefields in Afghanistan, the United Nations Mine Action Programme for the country (MAPA) is currently projecting a funding shortfall in 2006, one of its officials said today.

Annan calls for peaceful resolution of disturbances in Solomon Islands

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on the people of the Solomon Islands to refrain from violence and re-commit themselves to a peaceful and constitutional resolution of their differences after post-election disturbances in the South Pacific country.

Nepal: UN officials call on all sides to refrain from violence in demonstrations

In their latest expression of concern over strife in Nepal, United Nations human rights officials today urged both the Government and opposition protesters to refrain from violence in demonstrations planned for tomorrow to impel King Gyanendra to restore suspended parliamentary rule and democratic rights.

Annan proposes new year-long mission to help Timor-Leste through elections

Aiming to build on impressive progress made by Timor-Leste since the United Nations helped it to independence in 2002, Secretary-General Kofi Annan is advocating the establishment of a follow-on office after the termination in May of the current UN mission to help strengthen the “fragile democracy” in the world's newest country.

Security forces violently disperse protests as unrest continues in Nepal – UN monitors

As demonstrations continued in Nepal today, security forces in several locations violently dispersed protestors, according to United Nations officials who visited the injured and criticized the excessive use of force in the troubled kingdom.

Saga of Afghan refugees in Pakistan nears closure under UN-backed accord

A top United Nations refugee official today ended a six-day visit to Pakistan, during which a breakthrough agreement was signed with the government that will help close the chapter on the millions of Afghans who fled there from their homeland during two and a half decades of war and factional fighting.

Shipping company, UN launch disaster relief supply team in Singapore

The international shipping company DHL, together with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) today launched a standing programme based in Singapore to ensure that the right relief supplies reach people quickly in the case of a major natural disaster.

Nepalese Government grants some curfew passes to UN rights monitors

United Nations human rights teams in Nepal, banned yesterday by the Government from monitoring pro-democracy demonstration because of a curfew, were today granted a few curfew passes and reported that security forces, which they have frequently criticized for excessive force, were more restrained than in recent days.

Nepal: Annan hopes King's proclamation will end conflict, restore order

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed a proclamation issued by King Gyanendra of Nepal affirming that executive power will be returned to the people of the strife-torn country.

Nepal: UN rights officials condemn use of deadly police force as inexcusable

United Nations human rights officials in Nepal today called the use of deadly police force against unarmed pro-democracy demonstrators “inexcusable” and said the Government had violated agreements by banning the deployment of UN monitoring teams during the curfew it had imposed.