Yearbook of the United Nations, 2006. Part 1, Political and security questions. Chapter 4, Asia and the Pacific
In 2006, the United Nations continued to face significant political and security challenges in Asia and the Pacific, especially in Afghanistan and Iraq, as it sought to restore peace and stability and promote economic and social development in the region. In Afghanistan, further progress was made to advance that country's development and strengthen the rule of law. In that regard, more than 60 countries attended the London Conference on Afghanistan (31 January–1 February), pledging $10.5 billion in new financial assistance. Participants adopted the Afghanistan Compact, a blueprint for action in the areas of security, governance, human rights, the anti-narcotics struggle and development. However, the year also saw an increase in insurgent activities, especially in the south, which hampered the ability of the United Nations and its partners to provide development assistance. In November, a Security Council mission to Afghanistan assessed the situation there and made recommendations for strengthening the country's governance institutions and addressing the security concerns. The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), a multinational force established by Security Council resolution 1386(2001), continued to assist the Government in maintaining security. In October it assumed responsibility for all international military operations in Afghanistan. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) continued its role as lead command for ISAF. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) continued to coordinate international humanitarian and development activities, assist the Government in building institutions and foster political dialogue. In March, the Security Council extended UNAMA mandate for an additional year. In December, the General Assembly, by resolution 61/18, called on the Government to continue to address the security and development challenges, with the support of the international community. In Iraq, strides were made in returning the country to democratic and constitutional rule. In April, the Parliament elected Jalal Talabani as President, and a new Government was formed in May, headed by Prime Minister Jawad Nouri Al-Maliki. Nevertheless, sectarian and other violence continued, with an escalation of bombings, murders and kidnappings. The bombing of a Shiite Shrine on 22 February ignited ferocious attacks between Shiites and Sunnis, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people. On 23 November, more than 200 people were killed in explosions in Baghdad's Shiite-dominated Sadr City district. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) continued to promote dialogue, advise the Government on developing civil and social services, foster human rights protection and legal reforms, and contribute to the coordination of development and reconstruction efforts. In August, the Security Council extended UNAMI mandate for another year. The United Nations continued to follow up on issues relating to Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, the repatriation of the remains of Kuwaiti and third country nationals, the return of Kuwaiti property, including the national archives, and compensation for losses and damage. The United Nations Office in Timor-Leste (UNOTIL) addressed the crisis that erupted in that country, as a result of grievances by members of the security forces. Clashes occurred between protesters and security forces in April and between the police and the armed forces in May. To restore order, the Government sought military assistance from Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Portugal. The Prime Minister was forced to resign in June, and the Secretary-General appointed a Special Envoy to promote negotiations. The international security forces, in cooperation with the Government and the United Nations, restored order. In August, the Security Council, which had scaled back its operation in Timor-Leste, was forced to establish a new missions, the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT). Following Iran's decision to resume uranium enrichment related activities, the Security Council, in July, mandated a suspension of such activities and in December imposed sanctions against the country. Iran maintained that its nuclear programme was entirely peaceful and in line with its engagements under the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. In response to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) multiple ballistic missile launches on 5 July, the Security Council, on 15 July, demanded that the country suspend such activities. After the DPRK informed the Council that it had conducted an underground nuclear weapon test on 9 October, the Council, by resolution 1718(2006), imposed sanctions on the country. The DPRK maintained that such activities were merely defensive and were prompted by the hostile policies of the United States. Mass demonstrations in Nepal in April forced the Nepalese King to restore Parliament and hand over power to an alliance of mainstream political parties. In August, the Secretary-General appointed a Personal Representative for Nepal to act as the senior United Nations political interlocutor. Negotiations between the Maoists and the new Government led to a Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed on 21 November, which ended a decade-long conflict that had killed some 13,000 people. The United Nations was requested to supervise the management of arms and armed personnel of both sides, continue human rights monitoring and assist in elections scheduled for 2007. The United Nations also continued to assist Cambodia in setting up a tribunal to prosecute senior leaders responsible for crimes committed between 1975 and 1979; provide good offices for democratization and national reconciliation in Myanmar; and support Tajikistan in its peacebuilding efforts. It expressed concern over the 5 December military takeover in Fiji, and was requested to keep on the agenda the issue of the Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa islands in the Persian Gulf.
Yearbook of the United Nations, 2006. v. 60; Vol. 60
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