Asia Pacific

WHO confirms respiratory disease in China with nearly 800 cases

United Nations experts today concluded that the atypical pneumonia cases in China are likely the same disease now identified as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), bringing the figures for the country to more than double since the last date of reporting.

UN human rights official cuts short Myanmar visit over bugging

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar cut short his fact finding mission there today after discovering a listening device under the table during interviews with prison inmates.

Annan strongly condemns 'cowardly massacre' in Kashmir

Calling it a "cowardly act of terrorism," United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today strongly condemned yesterday's massacre of 24 people in Kashmir, including women and children.

Peace process in Bougainville still needs nurturing - Annan

While the peace process in Bougainville is stronger than ever, it still needs nurturing, the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a report issued today on progress made by the United Nations mission to the island in Papua New Guinea.

UN envoy deplores attacks against schools in Afghanistan

Marking the start of the Afghan school year, the senior United Nations envoy for the country has deplored the attacks against schools in parts of the country and called on Afghans to unite against vandalism.

Security remains 'serious challenge' to Afghan peace process, Annan says

Security remains the most serious challenge facing Afghanistan, the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan says in a report issued today on progress made in the reconstruction efforts and transition towards a fully representative national government.

Afghanistan: UN envoy says unity and security needed in coming year

As Afghanistan prepared to mark its new year, the top United Nations official in the country said today that national unity and security would be critical in reconstruction efforts.

UNICEF urges sustained investment in education and health for Afghan females

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) today urged the international community to continue investing in girls' education and women's health in Afghanistan, stressing that despite signs of progress, the country is still struggling to help its most vulnerable populations.

UN refugee agency, Afghanistan and Pakistan sign repatriation accord

The UN refugee agency has signed an agreement with Afghanistan and Pakistan setting up for the first time a formal process for resolving the 23-year-old Afghan refugee problem in Pakistan.

UN agency launches partnership for improved water management in Asian cities

The United Nations programme dealing with human settlements and the problems of rapid urbanization has launched a partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ABD) to help provide loans for safe drinking water and sanitation projects in densely populated areas throughout Asia.