Asia Pacific

Asia-Pacific population growth falls to lowest of developing regions – UN report

The Asia-Pacific region’s annual population growth has fallen to 1.1 per cent, the lowest rate among the world’s developing regions, according to a statistical snapshot released today by the United Nations.

UN refugee agency registers uprooted Pakistanis in urban areas

The United Nations refugee agency has kicked off its registration of thousands of Pakistanis who are seeking shelter in the capital, Islamabad, and other cities after fleeing in the South Asian nation’s rugged north.

UN seminar explores water management in Central Asia

A United Nations gathering underway in the Kazakh city, Almaty, has drawn dozens of experts and representatives of Central Asian nations to examine how to boost water management in the region.

UN agencies launch much needed literacy programmes across Afghanistan

The United Nations today announced the launch of a literacy initiative in Afghanistan, which has some of the lowest rates of reading and writing in the world.

Sri Lanka: Ban welcomes civilians’ escape from conflict zone

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the escape of tens of thousands of civilians from the conflict zone in north-eastern Sri Lanka, where they had been trapped in fighting between Government troops and rebel separatist Tamil forces.

Security Council, UN rights experts urge restoration of constitutional law in Fiji

The Security Council and two human rights experts today joined Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other United Nations figures in voicing deep concern over the abrogation of Fiji’s constitution, the sacking of its judiciary and the imposition of press restrictions.

Sri Lanka: UN refugee agency calls for broader protection of displaced persons

The United Nations agency, involved in massive shelter support to some 63,000 people who have fled combat in northern Sri Lanka, today called on the island nation’s Government to speed up protection measures for internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Fiji: UNESCO chief voices concern over restrictions on press freedom

The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today voiced grave concern over the crackdown on the media in Fiji after the country’s leadership scrapped its Constitution and declared a state of emergency last week.

New Afghan law could curtails rights to education, gender equality – UNESCO head

A new law that could be adopted by Afghanistan’s Parliament on the status of Shiites in the South Asian nation undermines the right to education, the principle of gender equality and the rights of the child, the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said today.

Justice sector key to democracy in Timor-Leste – UN envoy

Affirming that there could be no democracy without the rule of law, the top United Nations envoy to Timor-Leste today called for a common strategic vision to overcome challenges to the fledgling nation’s justice sector.