Asia Pacific

Wild birds likely to spread potentially deadly bird flu far and wide - UN agency

The deadly strain of bird flu that has hit several countries in Asia is likely to be carried over long distances along the flyways of wild water birds to the Middle East, Europe, South Asia and Africa, with the potential to trigger a global human pandemic, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned today.

Migrants in tsunami-hit Thai regions need more access to health services, says UN study

Migrants living in areas affected by last year's tsunami need better access to maternal and child health services, family planning and information on preventing HIV infection, according to a United Nations-sponsored study.

UN, China agree to cooperate on civil and political rights program

The United Nations human rights office today said that it and China signed a memorandum of understanding designed to help that country implement recommendations on economic, social and cultural rights and at facilitating its ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

With forest fires choking South-East Asia, UN calls for strict enforcement of ban

With large forest fires in South-East Asia, notably in Indonesia, causing serious health and environmental problems, including a choking haze, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today called for strict enforcement of the ban against using fires for agricultural purposes.

Last of Vietnamese boat people in Malaysia returns home, UN agency reports

The last remaining Vietnamese refugee in Malaysia, out of more than 250,000 "boat people" who began landing there 30 years ago, has returned home, marking a significant milestone in the history of the exodus, the United Nations refugee agency reported today.

UN rights chief calls for ‘ever closer partnerships’ to combat human trafficking

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour today opened an Asia-Pacific regional human rights conference in Beijing with a call for "ever closer partnerships" to combat human trafficking.

Afghan refugees will be given more time in Pakistan, UN refugee agency says

Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), after talks in Kabul, will seek official agreement on giving 3 million Afghan refugees nine more months in Pakistan before the agency’s voluntary repatriation programme closes down.

UN tsunami chief to assess recovery effort in Sri Lanka and Indonesia

The United Nations Deputy Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery Eric Schwartz will travel to Sri Lanka and Indonesia tomorrow on a 10-day fact-finding mission to see the impact of last December’s tsunami on people’s lives and to gauge the progress of the recovery.

UN health agency reports massive polio vaccination campaign in Indonesia

With Indonesia's largest recorded polio epidemic now threatening a broad swath of countries across Asia, more than 750,000 vaccinators will fan out across the vast archipelago tomorrow on a two-day campaign to immunize more than 24 million children under the age of five, the United Nations health agency reported today.

Afghan opium production falls by 21 per cent in 2005 – UNODC

Government success at persuading farmers to voluntarily refrain from poppy cultivation, farmers’ apprehension that the official ban on opium cultivation could be enforced by eradication, and relatively low farm-gate prices have led to a 21 per cent decline in Afghan opium cultivation, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said today.