Asia Pacific

Taliban insurgency tops list of concerns as Security Council team arrives in Afghanistan

With the Taliban insurgency posing a major problem for Afghanistan, the head of a Security Council mission there today pledged that the international community will stand by the country as it works to rebuild.

UN official meets separately with Myanmar leaders, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

The top United Nations political official held separate meetings today in Myanmar with government leaders as well as the most prominent member of the opposition: detained Nobel Peace Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Ancient Silk Road to get modern railway counterpart under UN-backed agreement

A 50-year-old dream to forge a railway version of the famed Silk Road of old moved a step closer to realization today at a regional United Nations transport conference with the signing of an agreement to create an 81,000-kilometre network originating on the Pacific seaboard of Asia and ending up on the doorstep of Europe.

Timor-Leste: citing better security, top UN official calls on displaced to return home

Nearly seven months after deadly violence forced around 155,000 people in Timor-Leste to flee to temporary camps, the top United Nations official in the tiny nation called today on these internally displaced persons (IDP) to return to their homes, citing a much-improved security situation thanks in part to the increased number of UN police.

Meeting Myanmar groups, UN’s top political officer discusses political process, aid

Continuing his four-day visit to Myanmar, the top United Nations political officer today discussed transparency and the need to open up the political process to all the country’s people, in meetings with representatives from various ethnic and other groups taking part in the National Convention.

Sri Lanka: Annan stresses ‘urgent need’ to end spiralling violence, return to talks

With the deadly conflict between Sri Lanka’s Government and Tamil Tiger separatists escalating dramatically this week, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today emphasized the “urgent need” to end the spiralling violence and called on both sides to immediately return to the peace process.

Sri Lanka: UN official calls on all sides to protect civilians after deadly army shelling

The top United Nations relief official today called on all sides in the conflict between the Sri Lankan Government and Tamil separatist rebels to protect civilians after an army artillery bombardment yesterday hit a school sheltering 1,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), killing at least 23 people and wounding 135 others.

FAO: OPEC gives multi-million dollar loan boost to Myanmar’s edible oil sector

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund for International Development has boosted Myanmar’s edible oil sector with $12.3 million loan to increase production, the United Nations food agency announced today.

UN’s top political officer meets Myanmar ministers, stresses need for political progress

The top United Nations political officer arrived in Myanmar today where he emphasized the need for progress, including the release of political prisoners, in talks with Government ministers, a UN spokesman said.

Praising peace deal in Nepal, Annan calls on all sides to ‘maintain the momentum’

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on all sides in Nepal to “maintain the momentum of the peace process” after the country’s multi-party Government and the Maoists agreed on a peace deal to end 10 years of civil war that has killed around 15,000 people and forced over 100,000 others to flee their homes.