Asia Pacific

Export value of Afghan opium plummeting, says UN anti-drug agency

The potential export value of Afghanistan’s opium has dropped 18 per cent this year, the United Nations anti-drug body reported today, but it cautioned that further progress hinges on rooting out corruption in the South Asian nation.

UN sanctions against Al-Qaida amended with appointment of delisting official

The Security Council today authorized the creation of an ombudsperson to help deal with the question of removing individuals and entities from the list of those subject to sanctions in connection with Al-Qaida and the Taliban.

Cambodia: UN report voices some concern over rights of garment workers

Although working conditions in Cambodian garment factories continue to improve, some concern remains over restrictions imposed on workers’ rights and lingering discrimination, according to a new report from the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO) released today.

UN and Nepal sign action plan for release of nearly 3,000 Maoist child soldiers

The United Nations, the Nepalese Government and Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) today signed an action plan to accelerate the release of nearly 3,000 child soldiers who served in the Maoist army during the country’s decade-long civil war and remain in temporary camps three years after a peace deal ended the conflict.

UN development partnership seeks to boost agricultural sector in Myanmar

United Nations development officials held talks with Government ministers in Myanmar today aimed at boosting the impoverished country’s agricultural sector to help it reclaim its status as the rice bowl of Asia.

UN welcomes new tariff cuts in Asia

Hailing new tariff reductions announced by six Asian countries that include three of the region’s largest economies, China, India and the Republic of Korea, the United Nations said today it looked forward to even deeper cuts.

Myanmar: UN reports ‘worrisome’ rise in opium cultivation

Opium cultivation in Myanmar has increased for the third year in a row, with the number of hectares rising by 11 per cent – a total of almost 50 per cent since 2006 – although production was down due to a fall in yield per hectare, the United Nations anti-drug agency reported today.

UN envoy begins official visit to Nepal to try to obtain release of child soldiers

A top United Nations human rights official arrives in Nepal today to help accelerate the release of nearly 3,000 child soldiers who served in the Maoist army during the country’s decade-long civil war and remain in temporary camps three years after a peace deal ended the conflict.

Asian railway integration gains momentum at UN-backed meetings

Transport ministers and experts from across Asia and the Pacific opened a week-long series of meetings at United Nations headquarters in Bangkok today to accelerate regional integration by further linking national railway networks and setting up major hub stations connecting inland economic centres.

UN preparing to build 10,000 homes in Afghanistan to house returning refugees

The United Nations refugee agency is slated to build a further 10,000 homes in Afghanistan next year in a bid to ease the return of Afghans who have fled decades of violence in the war-wracked nation and encourage more to come home, a senior official told reporters in Kabul today.