Asia Pacific

UN rights chief calls for swift probe into deadly clashes in Thailand

The United Nations human rights chief today called on authorities in Thailand to quickly investigate the killings of more than 112 people in the south of the country during confrontations between law enforcement officers and assailants.

Resolving fate of 370,000 displaced Sri Lankans ‘critical’ – UN refugee agency

The United Nations refugee agency today said it was “critical” to resolve the plight of 370,000 displaced Sri Lankans, victims of a separatist conflict that has claimed more than 65,000 lives in the past two decades, by restoring property rights, clearing landmines, and investing in housing, schools, health and other services.

Top UN envoy in Afghanistan strongly condemns ‘brutal slaying’ of aid workers

The top United Nations envoy in Afghanistan today voiced shock at Monday’s “brutal slaying” of two local workers of a non-governmental organization (NGO) in southern Kandahar, strongly condemning it as “yet another tragic and unacceptable act” against the aid community.

UN agencies respond to health needs of blast victims in DPR of Korea

United Nations humanitarian agencies are stepping up efforts to meet the health needs of people affected by the massive explosion last week near the Chinese border in the Democratic People’s Republic Korea (DPRK), which killed at least 161 people and injured 1,300 more.

WHO calls for new tools to keep up with new diseases like SARS

With most of the powers at its disposal increasingly outdated, the United Nations health agency is calling for more potent tools to keep up with emerging diseases such as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and bird flu, which have recently spread havoc in Asia and beyond and left the world at risk for pandemics.

Countries vow to reduce poverty in Asia-Pacific region as UN meeting ends

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) ended its 60th session in Shanghai today with the unanimous adoption of the Shanghai Declaration calling for the highest priority to be given to reducing poverty in the vast region that is home to more than half the world’s people.

DPR of Korea: UN agency appeals for fresh aid to feed train disaster victims

Fresh from delivering the first humanitarian aid to hospital victims of last week’s railway disaster in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today called for urgent extra donations to feed thousands of others left injured or homeless.

Afghanistan: UN suspends operations in Kandahar region following bomb blast

All United Nations operations in the Kandahar region of southern Afghanistan have been temporarily suspended, including voter registration, and movement within the city by national and international staff has been limited following a roadside bomb attack against a UN convoy.

UN confirms large loss of life, extensive damage after train explosion in DPR of Korea

A United Nations assessment team has confirmed that Ryongchon County in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) suffered a significant loss of life and experienced extensive damage to housing and infrastructure following last week's train explosion.

Annan hails signing of Asian highway pact, challenges Asia and Pacific region

Twenty-three countries signed an agreement today paving the way for the United Nations-planned Asian Highway, a vast 140,000-kilometre-long network of standardized roadways that will link towns from one end of the continent to the other.