Asia Pacific

Opium poppy cultivation surges in South-East Asia by 22 per cent, UN reports

Opium poppy cultivation surged in South-East Asia by 22 per cent in 2010, apparently due to the global economic crisis, with potential production value rising dramatically to $219 million, a $100 million increase over 2009, according to a United Nations report released today.

Independent UN rights expert calls for release of political prisoners in Myanmar

An independent United Nations human rights expert today urged the Government of Myanmar to release at least 2,202 prisoners of conscience still detained one month after the freeing of Aung San Suu Kyi, saying many of the prisoners are seriously ill as a result of harsh jail conditions.

Sri Lanka: UN helps Government respond to widespread floods

United Nations agencies are helping the Government of Sri Lanka address the humanitarian needs of more than 100,000 people affected by flash floods and landslides over the past month as heavy rains continue to fall.

Nepal: UN rights office proposes changes to draft law on caste discrimination

The United Nations human rights office in Nepal and the national commission against caste-based discrimination have analyzed draft legislation intended to ensure equality and prevent mistreatment, and recommended further consultations and a revision of the bill to include appropriate penalties and compensation.

Harmful traditional practices against women pervasive in Afghanistan – UN

Harmful traditional practices violating women’s rights, including honour killings, child marriage and giving away girls to settle disputes, are pervasive in Afghanistan, says a United Nations report released today that calls on the Government to implement a new law aimed at ending the scourge.

Top UN rights official dismayed at restrictions over Chinese Nobel peace winner

The United Nations human rights chief today expressed dismay over restrictions by China on the wife and associates of jailed activist Liu Xiaobo, who was awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, and reiterated her call for his release.

Security Council urges compromise in Nepal as end of UN mission approaches

The Security Council today underlined the need for the Nepalese Government and all political parties to take advantage of the United Nations mission’s last weeks there to work in a spirit of compromise to ensure progress on outstanding issues in the peace process.

More resources vital for Pakistan flood relief efforts, stresses UN humanitarian chief

The United Nations humanitarian chief today urged the international community to provide the necessary resources to assist the millions of people in Pakistan who are still in need of vital assistance some four months after floods inundated large portions of the South Asian nation.

UNICEF chief urges focus on most vulnerable children during India visit

The head of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has called for focusing on the most vulnerable children to save more lives, during a visit to India, where he got a first-hand look at efforts to deliver targeted health services to the poor.

Urgent funds needed as winter, polio compound Pakistan flood emergency – UN

The humanitarian situation in Pakistan remains precarious four months after the devastating floods and could worsen this winter with more children at risk of acute respiratory infections and malnutrition, even as polio cases increase, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned today.