Asia Pacific

UN agency hails Indonesian women’s bid for greater role in tsunami recovery

The United Nations Fund for Women (UNIFEM) has welcomed the efforts of women in the Indonesian province of Aceh, the area most devastated by last December’s Indian Ocean tsunami, to demand a greater role in the recovery process.

Afghanistan: ongoing violence threatens preparations for elections – Security Council told

The ongoing insecurity and re-emergence of violence affecting preparations for Afghanistan’s upcoming elections was being made worse by rampant corruption and fallout from the country’s thriving drug trade, senior United Nations officials told the Security Council today.

Annan welcomes aid-sharing pact between Government and rebels in Sri Lanka

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomed the signing today of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Sri Lankan Government and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) to establish a joint tsunami aid-sharing structure.

UN condemns attack against convoy of election workers in Afghanistan

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) today condemned this week's attack against a convoy transporting election materials in Kandahar province that resulted in the death of one person and the wounding of another.

UN human rights officials voice concern over allegations of torture in Uzbekistan

Senior United Nations human rights officials today voiced concern over allegations of torture, ill-treatment and arbitrary detention in Uzbekistan in connection with last month’s violent protests in the Andijan region of the Central Asian country.

Six months after tsunami, Clinton, UN agencies say hardest work lies ahead

Six months after the tsunami ripped through communities across the Indian Ocean, United Nations agencies involved in the recovery said the toughest challenges still lie ahead – including the complex questions of where to re-establish housing, how to quickly restore livelihoods and what to prioritize now that the emergency relief phase is over.

UN expert on torture to visit Nepal at Government's invitation

Following up on rising concern over violence and human rights safeguards in Nepal, a United Nations expert on torture will visit the strife-torn Himalayan kingdom in September at the invitation of the Government.

UN tsunami envoy Clinton outlines four-step rebuilding programme

Former United States President Bill Clinton, United Nations Special Envoy overseeing recovery efforts from December’s devastating Indian Ocean tsunami, today outlined a four-step rebuilding programme that includes listening attentively to the most vulnerable sectors of society and targeting action to avoid duplication.

UN reports rapid progress on Indian Ocean tsunami early warning system

A senior United Nations official today reported rapid progress on setting up a tsunami early warning system for the Indian Ocean which, had it existed at the time of last December's disaster, might have saved tens of thousands of the more than 200,000 lives lost to the giant waves that overwhelmed a dozen countries.

UN survey shows dramatic drop in Laotian opium poppy cultivation

Laotian opium poppy cultivation has declined 73 per cent since 2004 while opium production has dropped 67 per cent, marking the first time in many years that the Lao People's Democratic Republic no longer qualifies as a major supplier of illegal opiates to the international drug market, according to a United Nations survey released today.