Asia Pacific

Afghanistan leads global hashish production, UN report finds

Afghanistan, the world’s biggest producer of opium, is now also the global leader when it comes to the production of hashish, according to a new United Nations survey released today.

UN envoy to Afghanistan deplores deadly attack against German aid agency

The top United Nations official in Afghanistan has condemned an attack by gunmen against a German aid agency in the east of the country that killed a local engineer and severely injured an international aid worker.

Human rights abuses exacerbating poverty in Afghanistan, UN report finds

The United Nations human rights office is urging that Afghanistan’s poor be at the centre of decision-making processes that affect their lives, after a new report found that rights abuses are exacerbating poverty in the country.

El Niño to lose grip by mid-year, UN weather agency predicts

The El Niño weather pattern – blamed for this year’s heavy snows in the United States and a long-running drought in Australia – has peaked, but is expected to influence climate patterns worldwide until mid-year before dying out, the United Nations weather agency said today.

UNESCO aims to boost literacy and empower Nepal’s marginalized

A new United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) scheme seeks to enhance literacy and empower marginalized people in rural areas of Nepal, where less than half of the population can read.

UN chief accepts Pakistan’s request to delay release of report on Bhutto killing

The presentation of the report of the independent United Nations probe looking into the facts and circumstances of the December 2007 assassination of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, which had been scheduled for today, has been delayed until 15 April at the request of the country’s President.

Ban to make first official visit to Central Asia

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will head to Central Asia on Wednesday for a five-nation trip that will focus on boosting regional cooperation, disarmament, the environment and continuing efforts to attain the social and economic targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

UN hails milestone as Timorese police celebrate tenth anniversary

The National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL), which was set up by the United Nations in the wake of the country's vote for independence, has celebrated its 10th anniversary, making it one of the oldest institutions in the fledgling South-East Asian nation.

Mongolia: UN provides more funds as severe winter continues to bite

The United Nations has allocated $3.7 million in emergency funding to support UN agencies in Mongolia as they try to assist more than half a million people suffering from the combined effects of a long, severe winter and a preceding harsh summer drought.

More than 110,000 explosive devices destroyed in Afghanistan this year – UN

The United Nations-supported mine action centre in Afghanistan destroyed nearly 112,000 different types of explosives in the first two months of this year and could do much more with additional funding, one of its top officials said today ahead of next week’s International Mine Action Day.