Asia Pacific

UN emergency funding approves $3 million for crisis in southern Philippines

The United Nations emergency relief fund will allocate $3 million to assist people in southern Philippines where recent armed conflict has displaced communities, a situation worsened by torrential rains over the past few days.

Maldives: Ban urges peaceful election after highest court calls for fresh presidential vote

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today reiterated his calls on all Maldivians to ensure a peaceful, inclusive and credible process for the presidential elections which will be held anew later this month.

Viet Nam: UN rights office alarmed by conviction of renowned human rights lawyer

The United Nations human rights office today urged the Government of Viet Nam to review the conviction of human rights lawyer Le Quoc Quan, who was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $60,000 for alleged charges of tax evasion.

Azerbaijan: UN experts concerned by human rights restrictions, harassment of journalists

Voicing deep concern at tightened restrictions on the right of assembly in Azerbaijan and the harassment of journalists, three independent United Nations experts today called on the Government to facilitate the work of human rights defenders and civil society organizations in the run up to next Wednesday’s presidential elections.

Afghanistan: preparations for elections ‘creating a more positive environment,’ says UN official

The most senior United Nations official in Afghanistan said today the quality of preparations for next year’s elections is leading to a more positive environment about the country’s prospects after the 2014 transition.

Vulnerable countries that have progressed must not be left out of global agenda, Maldives tells UN

Tough challenges faced by vulnerable countries, such as small island developing States (SIDS), must be addressed by any future global development agenda, even if progress has been made in boosting the well-being of their people, the Acting Foreign Minister of the Maldives told the General Assembly today.

Construction of massive steel plant in India must be halted immediately – UN experts

United Nations independent experts today called on Indian authorities to immediately halt the construction of a massive steel plant in the eastern state of Odisha – formerly known as Orissa – which threatens to displace more than 22,000 people Jagatsinghpur District and disrupt the livelihoods of thousands more in the surrounding area.

DPR Korea urges financial support to advance sustainable development

International efforts towards achieving universally accepted anti-poverty targets have not produced due results, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pak Kil Yon of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) told the United Nations today, urging greater financial resources to reach that goal.

Visa reforms could lead to 2.6 million new jobs, UN agency reports

Visa facilitation could create up to 2.6 million jobs in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies by 2016, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).