Asia Pacific

UNESCO chief condemns murder of Pakistani journalist

The head of the United Nations agency tasked with protecting the freedom of expression today condemned the killing of a Pakistani journalist, Abdost Rind, in the south-western province of Balochistan, and voiced concern over the safety of media professionals in the country.

UN marks 10th anniversary of destruction of Buddha statues in Afghanistan

On the eve of the 10th anniversary of the destruction of the giant Buddha statues of Bamiyan, in Afghanistan, by the then-ruling fundamentalist Islamic Taliban, the United Nations cultural chief today called on the world to protect the heritage of humanity from damage, turmoil and theft.

UN expert stresses need to ensure freedom of expression in Cambodia

An independent United Nations expert today voiced his concern about the use of the crime of incitement against human rights defenders in Cambodia, while stressing the need to ensure that people can express their views peacefully and without fear.

Myanmar’s human rights abuses burden region with exodus of refugees – UN expert

Human rights violations in Myanmar are burdening other countries in the region, with an influx of refuges fleeing a host of abuses from forced labour and land confiscation to arbitrary detention and sexual violence, a United Nations expert warned today.

Security Council extends UN mission in Timor-Leste for another year

The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Timor-Leste for another year so that it can continue to assist the fledgling nation consolidate peace, democracy and the rule of law, as well as support the preparations for the parliamentary and presidential elections planned for 2012.

UN development chief pledges continued support for post-flood recovery in Pakistan

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has promised to continue supporting the Government of Pakistan in its efforts to rebuild infrastructure and restore the social services and livelihoods destroyed by last year’s massive floods.

Timor-Leste carries out UN-backed national birth registration campaign

Timor-Leste is carrying out a United Nations-backed campaign this week targeting over 200,000 children under the age of five who have not been registered at birth – an important step to ensuring that a child has proof of identity and can enrol in school at the right age.

Pakistan needs to invest more in disaster risk reduction, says UN official

Pakistan is at risk of increased loss of lives, property and livelihoods in future if it fails to invest in disaster preparedness, the top United Nations official on disaster risk reduction, Margareta Wahlström, said today at the end of a five-day visit to the South Asian country.

UN expert urges Solomon Islands to break cycle of aid dependency

Noting that foreign aid accounts for over 60 per cent of the development budget of the Solomon Islands, an independent United Nations expert today called on the Government and its donor partners to design a strategy to help break the cycle of aid dependency.

Ban voices sadness at loss of life, destruction in deadly New Zealand quake

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed deep sadness at the loss of life and destruction of property in New Zealand resulting from the earthquake that struck Christchurch, the country’s second largest city, and surrounding areas.