Asia Pacific

As Sri Lanka heads to polls, UN chief calls for ‘peaceful and credible’ election

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has conveyed his “strong expectation” that the Government of Sri Lanka will ensure “the peaceful and credible conduct” of its upcoming Presidential election, scheduled for the beginning of the New Year.

Ban welcomes proposal for ‘high-level dialogue’ between two Koreas

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed a proposal by the Government of the Republic of Korea to kick-start a high-level dialogue with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in an effort to thaw relations between the two countries.

UN chief urges Pakistan to end executions, reinstate death penalty moratorium

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on the Government of Pakistan to bring an end to the executions of all convicts and re-impose the country’s moratorium on the death penalty, a United Nations spokesperson announced today.

Marking 10 years since Indian Ocean tsunami, UN says world better prepared for natural disasters

It has been ten years since a massive tsunami swept across the Indian Ocean killing more than 200,000 people and devastating coastline communities from Indonesia to Somalia. Today, the world today is much better prepared to mitigate such disasters, senior United Nations officials have declared.

Laos: UN experts appeal for help to probe two-year-old disappearance of rights defender

International support is now needed to investigate the enforced disappearance of leading Laotian human rights defender Sombath Somphone, who was last seen in December 2012, a group of United Nations independent experts urged today.

UN rights experts alarmed at resumption of death penalty by States for terrorist acts

As Pakistan lifted a six-year moratorium on use of the death penalty following the recent terrorist attack in Peshawar, United Nations human rights experts today warned against rescinding such suspensions and stressed the risks of overusing capital punishment for terrorist acts.

Montagnards hiding in Cambodian forests since October now safe, UN reports

After weeks of effort and engagement with authorities, the United Nations said today that it has helped a group of Vietnamese Montagnards who had been hiding in the Cambodian forests since October with little protection and subsistence get to safety.

In Security Council, UN officials urge renewed engagement with DPR Korea on human rights

Despite a grim litany of human rights abuses committed against its own people and ongoing provocations to global peace and security, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has shown signs of compliance with human rights mechanisms prompting hopes that the Asian nation may one day yield to the call for full accountability and reform, two senior United Nations officials stated today.

10 years after Indian Ocean tsunami, Asia-Pacific region better prepared: UN

Ten years after the Indian Ocean tsunami hit South and Southeast Asia, countries in the region are better prepared to deal with tragedies, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today, while stressing that there is still room for improvement.

Maldives: UN expert concerned at ‘unacceptable’ dismissal of Supreme Court justices

The removal of two Supreme Court justices in the Maldives by local authorities threatens the independence of the country’s judiciary and further compromises the rule of law, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers has warned.