Asia Pacific

UN anti-drugs conference opens in Kabul

Stopping the flow of deadly drugs out of Afghanistan, where opium production has soared to record levels this year, is the focus of a two-day summit that kicked off today in Kabul, organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

UN envoy to return to Myanmar on Saturday

United Nations Special Adviser Ibrahim Gambari is set to arrive in Myanmar on Saturday, his second visit to the South-East Asian nation since authorities used force in responding to a wave of peaceful protests that began in August.

General Assembly urges observance of ‘Olympic Truce’ during Beijing Games

The United Nations General Assembly today urged all countries to observe the Olympic Truce during the 2008 Beijing Games – a move backed by its president, who advocated greater use of sport to promote peace and development.

UNESCO chief condemns murder of Uzbek journalist in Kyrgyzstan

The Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which works to promote press freedom globally, today condemned the recent murder of Uzbek journalist Alisher Saipov in Kyrgyzstan.

As winter approaches in Afghanistan, UN urges end to attacks against aid convoys

With the onset of winter in Afghanistan expected to cut remote regions off from aid deliveries, the United Nations Assistance Mission there (UNAMA) today called on warring factions to allow safe passage and access for humanitarian workers delivering relief aid.

Preference for sons in Asia could have severe social consequences: UN agency

Prenatal son selection in several Asian countries could result in severe social consequences – such as a surge in sexual violence and trafficking of women – in the coming years, according to new studies commissioned by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

UN human rights expert reports allegations of torture in Sri Lanka

An independent United Nations human rights expert said today that although Sri Lanka has measures in place to prevent torture, the brutal practice is widespread – an accusation disputed by a representative of the country’s Government.

Iranian cooperation and transparency crucial, UN nuclear watchdog chief says

"Active cooperation and transparency" on Iran's part are key in resolving outstanding issues over the country's nuclear ambitions, the head of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) told the General Assembly today.

UN envoy and Japanese officials urge Myanmar to begin talks with opposition

In Tokyo today, the United Nations Special Envoy for Myanmar joined senior Japanese officials in calling on authorities in the South-East Asian nation to begin a genuine dialogue with the opposition to resolve the ongoing crisis there.

Security Council likely to extend UN’s Mission in Nepal – envoy

The Security Council is likely to extend the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), the head of the operation said today, one day after the 15-member body held closed consultations on the issue.