Asia Pacific

Secretary-General welcomes release of political detainees in Myanmar

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed the recent release of a number of political detainees in Myanmar and stressed the need to pursue national reconciliation talks between the Government and the opposition.

Disturbed at reported attacks in Afghanistan, Annan urges international response

Secretary-General Kofi Annan reacted with dismay today to reported attacks against civilians in Afghanistan and urged the international community to explore ways to prevent further rights violations there.

Over 90 per cent of East Timorese registered for election: UN mission

Nearly 91 per cent -- more than 738,000 people -- of East Timor's population had been registered for the upcoming elections in the Territory, the United Nations mission in East Timor announced today.

Afghanistan: UN holds talks with Taliban to keep bakeries aid project running

Talks between the United Nations and the Taliban aimed at forestalling the possible closure of a key UN food project in Afghanistan are now under way and could run through tomorrow, according to a UN relief official.

East Timor: UN mission chief calls for funds in final stretch before independence

The head of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) today urged donors meeting in Australia to contribute generously to the UN operation to help it in preparing the territory for full independence.

East Timor: over 30 suspected militia surrender to UN peacekeepers

A security operation conducted by United Nations peacekeepers in East Timor has resulted in the surrender of 34 suspected militia members in the eastern part of the territory, the UN Transitional Administration (UNTAET) said today in Dili.

Afghanistan: donation from Germany will boost UN efforts to help poor farmers

United Nations efforts to help farming families affected by drought in Afghanistan will get an infusion of badly needed funds with the contribution of $232,000 announced by the Government of Germany, the UN said today.

East Timor: UN lauds move to dissolve CNRT resistance organization

Sergio Vieira de Mello, the head of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), has called the dissolution of the East Timor resistance umbrella organization CNRT a difficult and painful decision, but a "politically courageous, wise and timely one."

Millions of Afghans face starvation as crops fail, UN agencies warn

Millions of people are facing starvation in Afghanistan, where the food supply has been undermined by the combined effects of consecutive droughts and a crumbling economy, according to a special alert released today by two United Nations food agencies.

United Nations mission in East Timor to hold conference on defence force

Fourteen countries have confirmed their participation in the second international conference of countries willing to help develop the future East Timor Defence Force (ETDF), the United Nations mission in East Timor announced today.