Asia Pacific

Ban 'deeply distressed' at plight of civilians in northern Sri Lanka

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today reiterated the need to protect civilians trapped by fighting between the Government and Tamil rebels in northern Sri Lanka, voicing concern at reports of heavy casualties, restrictions on movement and forced recruitment, especially of children.

Citing ‘massive’ needs, UN envoy urges continued support for Timor-Leste

The top United Nations envoy to Timor-Leste today called for sustained international support as the country seeks to move from post-conflict recovery towards long-term development.

Afghan law curbing women’s rights reminiscent of Taliban era – UN official

A new law in Afghanistan seriously curtailing women’s rights, even explicitly permitting marital rape, is a “huge step in the wrong direction,” the United Nations human rights chief said today, calling for its repeal.

Vital UN food aid en route to displaced persons in northern Sri Lanka

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said today that 1,000 metric tons of critically-needed food assistance has been dispatched to a designated “safe zone” in north-eastern Sri Lanka, where more than 100,000 people have been displaced by fighting.

Attacks on girls’ schools jeopardizes Pakistan’s future, says UNESCO chief

The future of all of Pakistan is being endangered by ongoing threats to girls’ education in the country’s north, the head of the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) said today.

Ban ‘appalled’ at suicide attacks at Afghan provincial council office

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned today’s suicide attacks in southern Afghanistan, in which two people were reportedly killed and a large number of civilians injured, including one staff member serving with the United Nations mission in the country (UNAMA).