Asia Pacific

‘Time for important decisions,’ head of UN in Afghanistan tells Security Council

With parliamentary elections one month away and a major ministerial conference planned for November in Geneva, the United Nation’s Special Representative for Afghanistan briefed the Security Council on Monday, noting that “preparations are on track” but that many challenges lie ahead, including increased security concerns.  

UN chief concerned over havoc of Typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines

Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday that he was saddened by the “loss of life and extensive destruction” caused by Typhoon Mangkhut across the Philippines.

Signs that North Korea is ‘maintaining nuclear weapons programme’ – UN political affairs chief

There are signs that North Korea (formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPRK), is “still maintaining and developing its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes”, Rosemary di Carlo, United Nations political affairs chief, told the Security Council on Monday.

Yemen: mortar attack on UN food silo ‘could affect vital aid deliveries to millions’

Fighting in the Yemen port city of Hudaydah which has damaged a World Food Programme (WFP) storage facility, threatens to hamper efforts to feed millions of people in the war-torn country, it said on Friday.

‘Vague and over-broad’ laws stifling independent journalism in Myanmar – UN rights report

Describing the conviction in Myanmar of two Reuters journalists last week as a “particularly outrageous” example of judicial harassment against the media there, “vague and over-broad” laws have made it impossible for the press to do its job in the country, without fear or favour, a new United Nations report has found.

‘More support’ vital to put Afghanistan back on a ‘positive trajectory’ – top UN officials

After four decades of conflict and insecurity, and with elections to be held in the coming months against a backdrop of growing humanitarian need, Afghanistan needs more support than ever to tackle its challenges, said the United Nations humanitarian and refugee chiefs on Monday after a joint two-day visit in the country.

Halt ‘imminent’ executions of Kurdish prisoners, UN experts urge Iran

Two independent United Nations human rights experts have called on the Iranian Government to halt the execution of three prisoners from the Kurdish community, amid concerns that they did not receive a fair trial and allegations that they were tortured while in detention.

UN hails ‘ground-breaking’ Supreme Court ruling to decriminalize gay sex in India

A landmark ruling in India that decriminalizes gay sex has been welcomed as a “ground-breaking decision” by the UN agency leading the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Major UN push for peace to end Yemen’s ‘hot war’ begins in Geneva

Efforts are under way to bring a “flickering signal of hope” to war-weary civilians in Yemen with UN-organised consultations between the Government and the Houthi opposition in Geneva set to begin, the UN’s Special Envoy Martin Griffiths, said on Wednesday.

It’s time to apply maximum ‘moral pressure’ to save lives in Syria’s Idlib: UN negotiator

All countries with influence over the grinding conflict in Syria should use all the “moral pressure” they can to avoid a full-scale military attack on Idlib, particularly Russia and Turkey, the United Nations top negotiator Staffan de Mistura said on Tuesday.