Asia Pacific

Myanmar: Ban welcomes agreement in Kachin

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the agreement reached between the Government of Myanmar and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), calling it a first step towards reconciliation in the country.

UN human rights office regrets Papua New Guinea’s decision to resume death penalty

The United Nations human rights office today said that Papua New Guinea had taken “a step backwards” with legislative action towards resuming the use of the death penalty.

UN human rights office ‘extremely concerned’ that young DPR Korea defectors likely sent home

One day after an independent United Nations human rights expert said he was extremely concerned for the protection of nine defectors from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the group has apparently been returned to the country.

Two-child policy violates human rights of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims – UN expert

An independent United Nations human rights expert today urged the Government of Myanmar to respond unequivocally to the revival of a local order limiting the number of children Rohingya Muslims can have to two, stressing that this is a clear violation of their human rights.

Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster ‘unlikely’ to have future health affects, says draft UN report

Radiation leaked after Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 is unlikely to make the general public and the majority of workers sick, a United Nations scientific committee today said previewing a new report.

Bangladesh must address lack of protection for women from violence – UN expert

A United Nations independent expert today called on Bangladesh to ensure the effective implementation of laws and measures that protect women from violence, stressing that in addition to the enforcement of policies, changes in attitudes need to occur regarding women’s role in society.

UN Mission in Afghanistan condemns deadly attack on the Red Cross

The United Nations in Afghanistan today ‘strongly condemned’ a deadly attack on the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) in Jalalabad in the eastern province of Nangarhar, and reiterated its calls for protection of medical and aid workers in the country.

UN rights expert concerned for well-being of nine young defectors from DPR Korea

An independent United Nations human rights expert said today he is extremely concerned for the protection of nine defectors from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), mostly minors and reportedly all orphans, who are believed to have been sent back to China after being arrested while crossing into Laos.

UN honours poet Tagore for messages of tolerance and harmony

The United Nations today honoured Nobel laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, whose collection of poetry, Gitanjali, and its universal message of harmony are the focus of an event at the Headquarters in New York aimed at promoting mutual respect and cross-cultural understanding.

Georgette Gagnon: Raising the bar on respect for human rights in Afghanistan

Georgette Gagnon's resume reads like a who's who of the globe's most prominent danger zones. With past experience in hot-spots in Africa, as well as in Bosnia and Syria, the Canadian-born Director of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan's (UNAMA) Human Rights Unit is now leading the effort to raise the bar on respect for human rights in the South Asian country.