Asia Pacific

UN report finds stalled peace talks in Sri Lanka blocking aid to children

Delayed peace talks between the Government of Sri Lanka and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are a significant obstacle to assisting children affected by the country’s two-decade-long war, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said today.

Hailing India-Pakistan progress, Annan urges compromise on Kashmir issue

Welcoming recent talks between senior Indian and Pakistani officials, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today urged further dialogue to resolve outstanding issues, including the question of Jammu and Kashmir.

Afghanistan's first free presidential election campaign kicks off

The campaign for Afghanistan's first open presidential election in its history formally began today, with 18 candidates given the next 30 days to convince voters they should be chosen for the post, the joint United Nations-Afghan body handling the polling announced.

UN agency sends team to probe uranium enrichment in Republic of Korea

The United Nations atomic watchdog agency has sent an inspection team to the Republic of Korea (ROK) to investigate the production of a tiny amount of enriched uranium that the Government in Seoul claims was carried out without its knowledge.

Bird flu: UN health agency to probe possible role of cats in the infection of humans

The United Nations health agency is investigating reports that bird flu, which experts say could mutate into a potentially deadly human pandemic under certain conditions, has now jumped the species barrier to infect cats.

UN praises China's efforts to cut vitamin deficiencies, but more needs to be done

With 250 million Chinese still suffering the devastating effects of deficiency in vitamins and minerals, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) today praised the Government's remedial efforts and said urgently needed further action could produce multi-billion dollar benefits in the world's most populous nation.

Nepal: UN refugee agency clears three staff members accused of gross negligence

The United Nations refugee agency has cleared three staff members in charge of its Nepal programme of allegations of gross negligence in connection with the alleged sexual abuse of young women and children in refugee camps in the Himalayan kingdom.

Annan welcomes release of Anwar Ibrahim from Malaysian jail

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today hailed the decision of a Malaysian court to overturn the sodomy conviction of the country's former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and release him from jail.

Millionth Afghan refugee returns home from Iran in landmark for UN

The United Nations refugee agency today marked a symbolic milestone with the return home of the one millionth Afghan from Iran since the start of voluntary repatriation to their war-ravaged country in April 2002, reducing by half the overall Afghan refugee population there.

UN forum aims to boost eating fruit, vegetables in bid to avert millions of deaths

With at least 2.7 million people dying each year around the world because they eat too little fruit and vegetables, the United Nations is holding a three-day workshop in Kobe, Japan, to find better ways to make these two essential commodities available to those who currently cannot access enough.