Asia Pacific

Myanmar: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other prisoners should be freed - Annan

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today urged the authorities in Myanmar to seize the momentum created by recent announcements that some 9,000 prisoners will be released to also free Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and others jailed for expressing their political beliefs.

Soccer ball production goes ‘green’ at UN environmental forum

Most of the world’s soccer ball production will go “green” under the terms of a declaration adopted unanimously this week at a United Nations-sponsored forum on environmental responsibility in the sports industry.

Annan calls for smarter, greater use of technology to reduce harmful emissions

The world must more enthusiastically and effectively embrace modern technologies that reduce waste and repair environmental damage, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today in a message to officials meeting in Japan.

Freed UN electoral workers in Afghanistan look forward to resuming their work

Three United Nations election workers freed yesterday nearly a month after being abducted in Afghanistan today thanked the Afghan people for the support shown during their ordeal and said they were looking forward to getting back to work.

UNESCO chief denounces journalists’ murders in Philippines

In yet another bid to defend the freedom of the press, the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has denounced the murder of two hard-hitting journalists in the Philippines this month as undermining the very foundations of democracy.

Pacific island nations lagging behind in development progress, UN study shows

After sub-Saharan Africa, the Pacific islands have made the least progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), meant to cut poverty and hunger in half and fight a host of other global ills, according to new statistics released by the United Nations today.

Afghanistan: Annan delighted at release of three abducted UN election workers

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today voiced his “delight” at the release of three United Nations election workers abducted last month in Afghanistan and pledged the world body’s commitment to help promote peace, reconstruction and democracy in the war-torn country.

Despite better harvest, DPR of Korea still faces substantial food shortage, UN says

Despite its best harvest in 10 years, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) will post another substantial food deficit in 2005 and require external aid to support more than a quarter of its nearly 24 million people, two United Nations agencies said today.

UN providing emergency supplies to quake victims in Indonesia

The United Nations relief coordination office is providing $26,000 worth of emergency supplies to some 500 families affected by the recent earthquake in Alor, Indonesia.

UN agency to look into allegations of forced labour in Myanmar

The governing body of the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO) has decided to send a high-level mission to Myanmar to look into allegations of the use of forced labour in that country.