Asia Pacific

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan keep rising, finds UN report

The ongoing conflict in Afghanistan continues to take a heavy toll on the country’s civilians, according to the United Nations mission there, which recorded over 1,000 deaths in the first six months of 2009 – 24 per cent more than during the same period last year.

High-level talks could help shore up peace in Nepal, says top UN envoy

The top United Nations envoy to Nepal said today that she is encouraged by the South Asian leaders’ willingness to discuss issues to push the peace process forward after weeks of simmering political tensions.

Child soldiers: UN official welcomes action plan by Philippine rebel group

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict today welcomed news that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the Islamic rebel group fighting Government forces in the Philippines, has signed an action plan to prevent the continued recruitment of child soldiers.

Myanmar: Ban reiterates call for authorities to release opposition figure

Myanmar must ensure the immediate release of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is in detention and currently facing trial, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has told an official of the Asian country.

Pakistan: UN humanitarian arm reports number of displaced returning home tops 600,000

More than 600,000 people forced from their homes by armed clashes between Government forces and militants in north-western Pakistan have now returned, leaving some 1.6 million displaced people in need of aid, the United Nations announced today.

Tackling impunity key to consolidating peace in Nepal – UN rights official

Lack of accountability is hindering progress in the peace process in Nepal, the top United Nations human rights official in the country said today, calling for perpetrators of violations, committed both during the decade-long civil war and afterwards, to be brought to justice.

Broadband Internet access critical catalyst to Asia-Pacific development – UN forum

The importance of speedy Internet access to stimulate economic growth across Asia and the Pacific was underlined by participants of a regional United Nations information and communications technology (ICT) gathering that wrapped up in Indonesia today.

Mongolia a ‘role model’ for other developing countries, Ban says

Mongolia is “a role model for many developing countries,” making progress in the fight against poverty, successfully transiting to democracy and taking an active role in United Nations peacekeeping missions, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today.

Top UN Asia-Pacific official pushes for pooling of fiscal resources to beat recession

Large-scale government stimulus packages are closed off to many nations across Asia and the Pacific, the top United Nations official for the region told a gathering of senior finance and central bank representatives, promoting a cooperative approach to jump-starting economies out of the global recession.

Singapore to host regional centre for intellectual property disputes – UN

Asia’s first centre for dealing with disputes related to intellectual property including trademarks, copyright and patent issues will open in Singapore, the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) reported today.