Asia Pacific

Amid 'remarkable' gains, challenges persist in Afghanistan, Security Council told

The top United Nations envoy for Afghanistan told the Security Council today that while impressive gains had been made over the past year, the country still faced tough challenges and the peace process was "far from secure" amid worrying reports that support for the remnants of the Taliban might be growing in some areas.

Annan hails Nepal ceasefire, pledges UN help with national reconciliation

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today warmly welcomed the announcement of a ceasefire yesterday by the Government of Nepal and the forces belonging to the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), as well as the Government's intention to convene all-party talks.

UN Afghan mission probes reported ban of male teachers in girls' schools

Following reports that male teachers have been banned from teaching girls in Afghanistan's Herat Province, the United Nations mission has sent a senior human rights adviser to that community to look into the issue of girls' education.

Environmental degradation major stumbling block for Afghanistan’s recovery – UN

Two decades of warfare in Afghanistan have degraded the environment to the extent it now presents a major stumbling block for the country's reconstruction efforts, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) says in a report released today.

Nuclear material in Japan incorrectly measured in past, IAEA confirms

Following Japan's recent announcement that it is correcting the amount of plutonium previously declared to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations watchdog has acknowledged that the amount of nuclear material transferred to waste storage in that country had not been adequately measured in the past.

2 added to Security Council list of Al-Qaida, Taliban operatives under sanctions

The United Nations Security Council committee monitoring sanctions imposed against the Taliban has added two more individuals to its list of persons and entities subject to the sanctions because of their links to the group or other terrorist operatives.

UNESCO launches major literacy campaign in Afghanistan

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Government of Afghanistan today launched a major project to boost reading and writing throughout the country, which suffers one of the world's lowest literacy rates.

Afghan judicial body joins forces with UN agency to promote legal reform

With education initiatives and disarmament programmes already showing promise in Afghanistan, the country's judicial task force has now joined with the United Nations lead development agency to tackle legal reform.

UN experts concerned new law in Bangladesh may compromise detainees’ rights

Two United Nations human rights experts today called on the Government of Bangladesh to ensure that its recent efforts to crack down on crime do not forfeit the crucial rights of detainees or obstruct humanitarian enquiries into allegations of ill-treatment.

Fiji Government appeals for assistance to rebuild after cyclone – UN

The Government of Fiji has appealed for international assistance to help tackle the destruction left in the wake of tropical Cyclone Ami, according to the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).