Asia Pacific

Afghanistan: UN-backed body steps up efforts for reconstruction

A high-level United Nations-backed body promoting a five-year development plan for Afghanistan wound up a two-day meeting in Berlin today with a commitment to more aggressive and determined efforts to rebuild the war-torn country, ranging from improving security to easing poverty to fostering human rights.

UN appeals to all sides in Nepal to allow passage of food convoys

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Nepal has appealed to all parties in the south-eastern Terai region of the impoverished country to allow safe passage for food convoys, warning that transport strikes and violence have severely disrupted aid deliveries and threaten the health of hundreds of thousands of people, including children.

UN food agency and Credit Suisse partner up to feed 19,000 Sri Lankan schoolchildren

Credit Suisse, a global financial services group, will invest $1.5 million in United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) projects that will assist 19,000 schoolchildren in Sri Lanka, the agency announced today in Geneva.

UN agency relieved that Thailand stops deportation of Lao Hmong; says action is illegal

The United Nations refugee agency today expressed relief that Thai authorities have delayed the deportation of scores of Lao Hmong refugees to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic after a group barricaded themselves in the centre where they were being detained, and warned that any forcible deportation would be a “major breach of international law.”

Afghanistan: UN envoy deplores murder of parliamentarian as assault on democracy

A senior United Nations envoy in Afghanistan today called on authorities to step up protection for all parliamentarians following the assassination of the first legislator since the new National Assembly was inaugurated over two years ago.

UN nuclear watchdog proposes ‘timeout’ by both sides on Iran’s nuclear programme

The head of the United Nations atomic watchdog agency is calling for a “timeout” on the Iranian nuclear issue, with Iran suspending uranium enrichment and the international community suspending sanctions over a programme that Tehran says is for producing energy but which others maintain is for making nuclear weapons.

UN agency concerned as Thailand deports Lao Hmong to Laos, reiterates offer to help

The United Nations refugee agency has expressed concern over Thailand’s decision to deport 16 Lao Hmong to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic without screening them to see if they needed international protection, and has repeated its offer to help Thai authorities put in place a screening system.

Nepal: Concerned at recent violence, UN envoy urges sides to promote tolerance

Responding to violence in Nepal, which has been the scene of deadly clashes in recent days, the senior United Nations envoy to the country has urged all parties to promote tolerance.

UNICEF opens first of 227 mother-and-child health centres in tsunami-hit Indonesia

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has completed construction of the first of the 227 mother-and-child health centres it is building in Indonesia’s tsunami-devastated Aceh province and earthquake-hit Nias Island.

UN signs joint security deal in Timor improving coordination, steps up policing

The United Nations mission in Timor-Leste today signed a security agreement with Timorese authorities and Australia’s Government to better improve coordination in the fight against continuing violence in the tiny nation, while UN Police are stepping up efforts to bring stability ahead of this year’s planned elections.