Asia Pacific

Top UN human rights official arrives in Kazakhstan for talks with officials

Continuing an official tour of Central Asia, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour arrived today in Kazakhstan for talks with top officials.

International judges at UN-backed Khmer Rouge trials welcome breakthrough on fees

International judges at the United Nations-backed trials of former Khmer Rouge leaders, accused of mass killings and other horrific crimes during the late 1970s, today welcomed Cambodia’s decision to reduce fees for international lawyers, saying it opened the way for the court to move quickly to start its work.

UN rights office calls on Nepal’s Maoists to allow return of internally displaced persons

The United Nations human rights office in Nepal today called on the country’s Maoists to allow internally displaced persons (IDPs), forced to flee during the decade-long civil war, to return safely to their homes, pointing out that past agreements also call for all confiscated property be given back to these returnees.

Recent Timor-Leste election was ‘free and fair’ and reflected the will of voters: UN

This month’s poll in Timor-Leste, the first in the country since gaining independence from Indonesia in 2002, may not have been perfect but it was “free and fair” and reflected the will of the voters, the United Nations said today, adding that it was a significant achievement for the tiny nation.

Building on success, UN-backed solar energy project poised for expansion

An estimated 100,000 people in poverty-stricken rural India are now receiving several hours of reliable solar-powered lighting every night thanks to a United Nations-led pilot project that is set to expand to a number of other developing countries.

UNICEF calls on Sri Lankan fighting faction to stop using children as soldiers

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today voiced concern about a paramilitary group which sides with the Government of Sri Lanka against separatist Tamil Tiger rebels that the agency believes is not living up to public assurances to eschew recruitment of children as soldiers to fight in the country’s bloody civil conflict.

UN human rights chief urges Tajikistan to take further steps on access to justice

Tajikistan must take active steps to ensure there is wider access to justice and it should also allow local and international monitors to visit places of detention, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said today after concluding official talks in her visit to the country, the second leg of her four-nation trip to Central Asia.

Fiji: UN fact-finding mission on post-coup situation finishes work

The United Nations fact-finding mission dispatched to Fiji to assess the political and electoral situation in the Pacific island nation in the wake of the coup d’état last December wrapped up its work today.

Nepal has made rapid advances, but obstacles lie ahead – report by Ban Ki-moon

The peace process in Nepal has made “remarkable progress” since the start of last year, but complex questions remain about how to monitor the management of arms and armed personnel, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in his latest report to the Security Council on the situation in the Himalayan country.

UN refugee agency-backed workshop tackles issue of statelessness in Central Asia

The United Nations refugee agency has completed a two-day workshop on curbing statelessness in Central Asia, where the disbanding of the Soviet Union and civil wars have resulted in thousands of people not having a fixed nationality.