Asia Pacific

UN chief concerned by rising number of executions in Iran

Expressing his “deep sadness” at the recent execution by Iran of two juvenile offenders, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today noted with concern the alarming increase in executions in the country over the last decade.

Welcoming Myanmar ceasefire, UNICEF says accord must cover 'every child, wherever they live'

While the recent ceasefire agreement between the Government of Myanmar and representatives of eight ethnic armed groups marks an historic step for children in Myanmar who have suffered from some of the longest running civil conflicts in the world, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) remains concerned for an estimated 1.8 million children who are not covered by the accord.

UN report calls for urgent response to harness Asia-Pacific’s rapid urban transformation

Warning of unprecedented shifts in population in urban areas of the Asia and Pacific – already home to 17 of the world’s megacities, with populations exceeding 10 million – the United Nations today launched a new report that highlights the region’s urban transformation progress and underscores the urgent need to make it more sustainable.

Philippines: lauding Government’s storm preparedness, UN agencies ready to assist in wake of typhoon

As slow-moving Typhoon Koppu brought intense rains and flooding to the Philippines that forced tens of thousands from their homes, the United Nations today lauded the storm-prone country’s early preparedness efforts as having minimized damage to life and property, with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) nevertheless expressing concern for children stranded in remote areas.

New law threatens civil society independence in Kazakhstan, warns UN expert

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, today warned that a new bill amending the law on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Kazakhstan, may compromise the independence of associations and also challenge their existence.

Myanmar: UN chief welcomes ‘milestone’ signing of ceasefire agreement

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed today the signing of a ceasefire agreement in Myanmar as “a milestone” and expressed his hope that the new government formed after next month’s elections will keep moving forward along the present path of negotiations.

After six years on the rise, Afghan opium crop cultivation declines – UN survey

Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan decreased 19 per cent in 2015, compared to the previous year, according to the latest Afghanistan Opium Survey figures released today by the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Senior UN relief official urges action to address urgent humanitarian needs in Afghanistan and Pakistan

The head of Operations at the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), John Ging, called today for renewed international commitment to address urgent humanitarian needs, and to shore up regional peace and stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan, noting that the two countries were on differing humanitarian trajectories.

UN mission ‘seriously concerned’ by Taliban threats against Afghan media outlets

Expressing serious concerns at recent statements made from the Taliban that identified specific Afghan media outlets and its staff as targets, the United Nations Assistance Mission in the country (UNAMA) today urged all parties to the conflict to respect and protect the right to freedom of expression.

Afghanistan: UN urges prompt investigation into murder of mission staff member

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is deeply troubled and saddened over today’s killing in Kandahar of Ms. Toorpaki Ulfat, a staff member of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).