Asia Pacific

UN experts note Indian Supreme Court ruling but urge abolition of death penalty

The decision by India’s Supreme Court to commute 15 death sentences to life imprisonment is a ‘significant step’, independent United Nations human rights experts today said, urging the country to establish a moratorium on executions with a view of abolishing the death penalty.

UNESCO chief denounces killings of television journalists in Pakistan, Iraq

The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today condemned the separate killings of four television journalists in Pakistan and Iraq, calling for those responsible to be brought to trial.

Cambodia: UN labour agency urges independent probe in deadly protests

Amid reports that riot police have been deployed in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh to break up anti-Government protests, the United Nations labour agency today urged everyone to remain calm and reiterated its calls for a probe into police action.

Philippine coconut farmers in dire need of alternative livelihoods, UN agency warns

Coconut farmers in the Philippines are in urgent need of assistance to recover their livelihoods nearly three months after Typhoon Haiyan tore through the country, the United Nations food relief agency today warned, calling for donors to support its $38 million call for severely affected Philippine households.

Ban welcomes signing of Government, rebel accord on southern Philippines

The Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) today signed a final security agreement that paves the way for a comprehensive peace accord on the island of Mindanao, a move welcomed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Top UN officials call for probe into latest violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state

The United Nations human rights and humanitarian chiefs on Thursday voiced deep concern about reports of alarming levels of violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, including the killing of many civilians and a policeman, and called for an immediate investigation by the authorities.

Ban ‘strongly condemns’ spate of deadly terrorist attacks in Pakistan

Reiterating deep concern over continued terrorist attacks and sectarian violence in Pakistan, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today strongly condemned a spate of deadly violence in the country, including the bombing of a market earlier this week in Rawalpindi, and a series of attacks against polio workers.

Central Asia: Security Council praises UN regional centre's preventive diplomacy efforts

The Security Council once again today acknowledged the role of the United Nations regional office in assisting countries in Central Asia to respond to threats and challenges, including terrorism and religious extremism, and reaffirmed the importance of the use of preventive diplomacy and early warning mechanisms to assist in the peaceful settlement of disputes.

UN agency warns of growing bird flu risk, urges vigilance ahead of Chinese holidays

The United Nations agricultural agency today issued a new warning that bird flu viruses are on the rise again in China and urged neighbouring countries to be extra vigilant head of the upcoming Chinese New Year festivities.

Honouring fallen colleagues, top UN officials pledge continued support to Afghanistan

United Nations today flew its flags at half-mast in honour of four staff members killed in Friday’s terrorist attack in Kabul, with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other senior officials pledging to continue working in active support of Afghans.