Asia Pacific

Condemning rebel attack in Sri Lanka, Ban Ki-moon calls for end to violence

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today condemned an attack by separatist rebels in Sri Lanka which injured senior aid officials, including one from the United Nations, and urged both sides in the conflict to halt the bloodshed and resume talks.

Ban Ki-moon hails new agreement on victims of forced labour in Myanmar

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today hailed a recent agreement reached between the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Government of Myanmar on the establishment of a complaint mechanism for victims of forced labour.

Philippines: UN expert blasts milk industry for seeking profit at cost of infant health

An independent United Nations rights expert today denounced a campaign by Filipino milk companies to promote breast-milk substitutes for manipulating UN data to protect their huge profits regardless of the interest of a country where 16,000 children under 5 died in 2003 from improper feeding practices including infant formula.

UN health agency investigates first report human bird flu case in Laos

United Nations health agency officials are monitoring an area of Laos following the first human case of bird flu to be reported in the South-East Asian country, bringing to one dozen the total number of States with human infections.

Myanmar: UN expert urges immediate aid to areas affected by military operations

Expressing concern about the humanitarian and human rights implications of ongoing military operations in Myanmar’s southeastern Kayin State, a United Nations human rights expert has urged the country to grant aid groups immediate access to affected civilians.

UN envoy to Nepal calls into question June polls unless political consensus reached soon

Amid violence in the Terai region of southern Nepal, Maoist combatants leaving their cantonment sites and a continuing lack of agreement among the country’s political parties, the United Nations envoy to the Himalayan country today warned that June’s scheduled elections may have to be postponed unless some form of consensus is reached “very soon.”

DPR Korea invites UN nuclear chief four years after leaving non-proliferation pact

More than four years after ordering United Nations inspectors out and withdrawing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has invited the head of the UN atomic watchdog to visit for talks next month.

Nepal: UN completes first stage of Maoist registration; envoy stresses dialogue

The United Nations mission in Nepal, sent over to assist with last year’s landmark peace deal, recently completed the first stage of registering Maoist arms and fighters, the UN envoy to the Himalayan country said today, as he stressed the importance of dialogue and expressed “grave concern” that some Maoists had left their cantonment sites.

Timor-Leste: UN investigates deadly violence near camp for displaced persons

United Nations police today in Timor-Leste are investigating deadly violence that erupted at a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) near the capital’s airport, in which one Timorese was killed and two injured.

Philippines: ‘huge amount’ needs to be done to curb extrajudicial killings – UN expert

With a significant number of extrajudicial killings “convincingly attributed” to its armed forces, a culture of virtual impunity and “the rampant problem of witness vulnerability,” the Philippines’ Government faces the “enduring and large challenge” of restoring accountability, an independent United Nations human rights expert warned today.