Asia Pacific

Ban Ki-moon condemns killing of two Korean hostages in Afghanistan

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today spoke out against the recent killing of two South Korean nationals abducted in Afghanistan nearly two weeks ago, calling for the safe return of the remaining detainees, including several women.

UN regional literacy conference kicks off in Beijing

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is holding a conference in Beijing starting today to help tackle illiteracy in East Asia, South-East Asia and the Pacific, where women make up nearly seven out of every 10 people who cannot read and write.

Attacks against Afghan schools continue to disrupt education – UN

Security incidents in schools and threats against students and teachers in Afghanistan have spiked in recent months, disrupting education in the country, which this year has seen some of the worst violence since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, according to the United Nations mission there.

Nepal: UN election process monitors to start second visit this week

United Nations election monitors will this week begin their second visit to Nepal as part of the world body’s efforts to support the staging of Constituent Assembly polls there later this year.

Number of refugees leaving Thailand to start new lives passes 10,000 – UN

Since the beginning of the United Nations refugee agency’s programme to resolve one of Asia’s most protracted refugee problems, over 10,000 refugees have left Thailand to begin new lives in third countries.

UN helps Indonesia set up rapid response teams to control spread of bird flu

Without involving rural communities in the fight against bird flu, Indonesia will not be able to control the highly contagious disease, which has ravaged millions of poultry and already killed more humans in the archipelago than anywhere else in the world, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned today.

Timor-Leste: UN to boycott truth panel unless it bars amnesty for gross abuses

United Nations officials will boycott a commission set up jointly by Indonesia and Timor-Leste to foster reconciliation after the latter’s bloody struggle for independence, unless it is precluded from recommending amnesty for crimes against humanity and other gross violations of human rights.

Nepal: top UN envoy says conducive climate for upcoming elections crucial

The senior United Nations envoy to Nepal said today that while the peace process in the Himalayan nation is on track, it is vital to create a conducive political and security climate for the holding of credible elections next month.

Asian nations confer on impact of population ageing at UN-backed forum

A United Nations-backed meeting – attended by participants from over a dozen countries in the Asia-Pacific region – on the social, health and economic consequences of population ageing kicked off today in Bangkok, Thailand.

UN and Timor-Leste appeal for additional funds to aid displaced

The United Nations and the Government of Timor-Leste have appealed for almost $18 million in additional funds to address the ongoing humanitarian needs of internally displaced people (IDPs) in the Southeast Asian nation for the rest of this year.