Asia Pacific

UN refugee agency reports upsurge in returns to Afghanistan

Continuing an upward trend that began in November, the number of people returning to Afghanistan from neighbouring countries has jumped since the end of the holy month of Ramadan, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported today.

Annan calls on India and Pakistan to resolve differences through dialogue

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has urged the leaders of India and Pakistan to avoid escalating actions and further statements that could aggravate the situation between both countries.

Afghans march in support of new administration, urge continued international aid

Following a peaceful demonstration in support of the new Interim Administration in Afghanistan, a delegation of the country’s people has met with United Nations officials to urge continued international assistance to the war-torn country, according to a UN spokesman.

As Afghans usher in Interim Administration, Brahimi says stability must succeed

As Afghanistan ushered in a new Interim Administration in Kabul today, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative, Lakhdar Brahimi, said this historic chance for stability in the war-shattered country must succeed.

Inquiry into reported killings of Afghan prisoners sought by UN human rights expert

A United Nations human rights expert today called for an inquiry into the reported summary execution of prisoners in Afghanistan, and urged action against those found to be responsible.

UN estimates some 25,000 unexploded coalition sub-munitions threaten Afghans

Forging estimates based on figures provided by the military coalition operating in Afghanistan, a senior United Nations official today said the country faces danger posed by some 25,000 unexploded sub-munitions.

Afghanistan: UN distributes aid brought by New York City police and firefighters

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today distributed aid brought to Afghanistan by police and firefighters from New York City, according to a spokesperson for the agency.

Afghanistan: Brahimi to address ceremony marking change of power

Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, will address a ceremony in Kabul on Saturday marking the transition to a new Interim Administration.

East Timor and Phillips Petroleum to resume gas project

Representatives of East Timor and Phillips Petroleum (91-12) Pty Ltd. have reached an understanding on a tax and fiscal package that would allow the gas phase of the project to proceed with maximized revenues to East Timor.

Funding key for recovery in Afghanistan, UN official tells donors in Brussels

A senior United Nations official who is leading the international recovery effort in Afghanistan today urged donors meeting in Brussels to fund the country's long-term reconstruction.