Asia Pacific

Nepal: UN welcomes decision to discharge thousands of child soldiers

The United Nations welcomed the decision to today begin discharging and rehabilitating more than 4,000 Maoist army personnel – including thousands of child soldiers – in Nepal, calling this a “significant milestone” in the country’s ongoing peace process.

Security Council and Ban deplore deadly hotel bombings in Indonesian capital

The Security Council and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon have strongly condemned this morning’s bombings of two hotels in central Jakarta that have reportedly killed at least nine people and injured dozens of others.

UN expert calls on Japan to boost action in combating human trafficking

Although Japan recognizes the seriousness of the problem of human trafficking within its borders, the East Asian nation must take more concrete action to fight the scourge, an independent United Nations human rights expert said today.

Ten companies and individuals added to UN sanctions list for DPR Korea

The United Nations Security Council has imposed sanctions on five companies and five individuals in connection with the nuclear test carried out by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in May.

UN breeding barn owls to stamp out crop-eating rodents in Laos

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is breeding barn owls under an innovative new programme that hopes to deter rodents from attacking crops in northern Laos.

Killing of UN staffer in Pakistan sparks outcry from top officials

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has led a chorus of condemnation over the shooting death of a staff member of the United Nations refugee agency at a camp outside the north-west Pakistani town of Peshawar today.

Independent UN probe into Bhutto killing starts work in Pakistan

The independent United Nations commission charged with examining the facts and circumstances behind the December 2007 assassination of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto arrived today in Islamabad as it began its first working visit to the country.

Kazakhstan has ‘room for improvement’ on minority issues – UN rights expert

In spite of the high degree of inter-ethnic and inter-religious cooperation and tolerance in Kazakhstan, a United Nations human rights expert said there is still “room for improvement” on minority issues in the Central Asian nation.

Economic crisis rolling back Asia’s development gains – UN official

The economic crisis is rolling back the significant progress made to date in Asia and the Pacific in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015 – according to a senior United Nations official.

Security Council stresses need for free, fair and secure Afghan polls next month

The Security Council today welcomed the Afghan-led preparations for next month’s presidential and provincial council elections, and stressed the importance of “free, fair, transparent, credible, secure and inclusive” polls.