Asia Pacific

UN envoy to Iraq warns of tough challenges ahead as regional polls pass peacefully

As elections for regional councils in Iraq seemed to have passed peacefully today, the top United Nations envoy to the country warned of tough challenges ahead, including the need to heal ethnic divisions and for national reconciliation, that could jeopardize recent progress.

Forced evictions leave thousands homeless in Cambodia, says UN expert

The forced evictions of tens of thousands of Cambodia’s poor constitute a “grave breach” of human rights, a United Nations independent expert said today, calling for damages to be paid for lost homes and the provision of alternative housing.

UN envoy to begin four-day visit to Myanmar

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Special Adviser on Myanmar will begin a four-day visit to the South-East Asian nation tomorrow at the invitation of the Government, the United Nations confirmed today.

Sri Lanka: Ban urges Government, rebels to assure safe passage for trapped civilians

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged the Government and rebels in Sri Lanka to do everything in their power to effectuate the safe passage that has been promised for some 250,000 civilians trapped in the area of intense fighting in the north of the island country.

New displacement from fighting in Pakistan leads to boosted UN humanitarian appeal

The United Nations today announced an appeal for more humanitarian funding for Pakistan, projecting that fighting between the Government and militant groups in north-western border areas will escalate throughout 2009, causing new displacements of up to 625,000 people.

UN rights chief deplores conditions for civilians trapped in Sri Lanka fighting

Reports of the rapidly deteriorating conditions for some 250,000 civilians trapped in war-torn northern Sri Lanka have sparked concern from the United Nations human rights chief, who is also alarmed by alleged human rights abuses, civilian casualties and massive displacement in the area.

Myanmar: cyclone victims need help to rebuild livelihoods – UN

Helping survivors of Cyclone Nargis, which struck Myanmar last year and claimed nearly 140,000 lives, restore their livelihoods is crucial in helping the South-East Asian nation rebuild, according to participants at a United Nations-sponsored donors meeting.

Crop production satisfactory, but food access difficult in post-cyclone Myanmar – UN

Although overall crop production was satisfactory last year in Myanmar due to increased harvests in areas not impacted by the devastating Cyclone Nargis, a new United Nations report cautioned that access to food is still a problem for the most vulnerable people in the South-East Asian nation.

Sri Lanka: UN convoy to evacuate wounded civilians from war-torn north

The United Nations said today it will attempt for the second time in three days to help evacuate by convoy hundreds of critically wounded civilians, including at least 50 children, from war-torn northern Sri Lanka.

UN expert appeals to DPR Korea to launch investigation into abduction of Japanese

An independent United Nations human rights expert has called on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to initiate a serious investigation into its abduction of Japanese citizens in the late-1970s and early-1980s.