Asia Pacific

‘Alarming’ security situation impeding UN feeding programme in Afghanistan

With military action against insurgents in southern and eastern Afghanistan uprooting civilians and worsening conditions for people already in chronic need of food, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) reported today that the “alarming” security situation is impeding its operations.

Thai economy set for steady growth if new government maintains stability – UN

In a new analysis after the military coup, United Nations economists predicted today that Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth could reach 4.7 per cent next year if the new government maintains political stability, but would only reach 3.1 per cent in the case of instability.

Deputy UN envoy for tsunami recovery deplores rising bloodshed in Sri Lanka

The United Nations’ Deputy Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery today added his voice to the chorus of alarm at reports that more than 200 civilians had been killed and thousands more displaced during the past two months in fresh fighting between Government forces and Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka.

Myanmar: senior UN official set to return for high-level talks on rights and democracy

A top United Nations official is likely to return to Myanmar in early November for high-level talks to try to help the Asian country make serious progress in human rights, political freedoms and humanitarian assistance.

Myanmar: UN rights expert calls for immediate release of detained student leaders

An independent United Nations human rights expert today called for the immediate release of three prominent student leaders in Myanmar reportedly arrested yesterday, citing numerous charges of abuse in pre-trial detention as cause for “extreme” concern.

UN tsunami envoy Bill Clinton welcomes political reform progress in the Maldives

The Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, former United States President Bill Clinton, today welcomed the release of an opposition leader in the Maldives and the commitment by the archipelago’s Government to undertake further political reform as it rebuilds in the wake of the disaster.

Timor-Leste: first batch of police return to work under UN mentoring scheme

The first group of Timor Leste police has resumed work under a United Nations mentoring scheme after being relieved of duty earlier this year in violence that shook the small South East Asian nation, which the world body shepherded to independence from Indonesia just four years ago.

UNESCO chief condemns yet another journalist’s murder, this time in Bangladesh

Keeping up his campaign to defend the freedom of the press, the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today deplored the murder of a Bangladeshi journalist as a blow against democracy.

Recent international crises prove need to reform Security Council, India tells UN

Recent events in Lebanon and the stalemate in the Middle East peace process have demonstrated the growing failure of the Security Council to tackle issues under its mandate, the Defence Minister of India told the General Assembly today, calling for reform of the 15-member body.

Thailand promises swift return to democracy during address to UN debate

Thailand will end martial law and return soon to democracy and, in the meantime, its interim constitution will provide full protection of civil liberties, the country’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations told the General Assembly today, a week after a coup took place in the South-East Asian nation.