Yearbook of the United Nations, 2009. Part 1, Political and security questions. Chapter 4, Asia and the Pacific
In 2009, the United Nations continued to address political and security challenges in Asia and the Pacific in its efforts to restore peace and stability and to promote economic and social development. In Afghanistan, the security situation continued to deteriorate in 2009 and attacks on UN staff forced UN operations, including the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), to relocate some staff outside of the country temporarily. A Taliban attack on 28 October against a guest house in Kabul, in which over 30 UN personnel resided, killed five staff members and wounded five. Taliban attacks against UN personnel or premises included improvised explosive device attacks against UN vehicles in Uruzgan and Kunduz in May and June, respectively, and four rocket attacks against UN premises in Herat. In Iraq, although 2009 saw an improvement in the overall security situation, there was a spike in indiscriminate and violent mass attacks, causing high civilian casualties. A wave of suicide bombings culminated in a coordinated series of four bomb blasts across Iraq in March and nearly 20 suicide bombings in April. By the end of July, incident levels remained high in northern Iraq as armed groups continued attempts to exploit tensions. Incident levels remained relatively low across southern Iraq, as the security forces continued to discover weapons and ammunition caches. On 19 August and 25 October, coordinated attacks targeted key government institutions in Baghdad, in the most significant attacks since the withdrawal of multinational forces from Iraqi cities at the end of June under the bilateral security agreement between Iraq and the United States. The United Nations continued following up on issues relating to Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait— including the repatriation of the remains of Kuwaiti and third-country nationals, the return of Kuwaiti property and compensation for losses and damage. On 30 August, Timor-Leste marked the tenth anniversary of the popular consultation that led to its independence. The United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) continued to assist the country in reforming the security sector, strengthening the rule of law, promoting economic and social development and fostering democratic governance, and on 26 February the Security Council, by resolution 1867(2009), extended its mandate for another year. In accordance with that resolution, Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão and the Secretary-General's Special Representative reached agreement in May on the respective roles and responsibilities of the Polícia Nacional de Timor-Leste and UNMIT police. The year was a challenging one with respect to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) nuclear programme. In April, the country launched a long-range rocket with the official aim of placing a satellite in orbit. The Security Council condemned the launch and demanded that the DPRK not conduct any further launch. In June, the Council, by resolution 1874(2009), condemned a 25 May underground nuclear test by the DPRK, citing it as a violation of resolution 1718(2006), which imposed sanctions against the country after its nuclear test in October 2006. In July, the DPRK launched several missiles, in violation of resolutions 1718(2006) and 1874(2009), and the Council called on the country to comply with those resolutions. In September, the DPRK stated that it was continuing its nuclear weapons programme. The peace process in Nepal, which had raised hopes after a peace agreement in 2006 and democratic elections in 2009, stalled in 2009 when relations between the party of the former Maoist insurgents and the other major political parties deteriorated. The Prime Minister resigned in May, and the Maoist party went on to block Parliament and hold numerous street protests and strikes throughout the rest of the year. In November, the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) urged Iran to comply with its obligations under the relevant Security Council resolutions and its own requirements. Those included immediate suspension of construction of a new pilot enrichment plant at Qom, the resolution of all outstanding issues concerning its nuclear programme and full compliance with its nuclear safeguards obligations. By year's end, IAEA reported that Iran had not provided the necessary cooperation to permit it to confirm that all nuclear material in Iran was being used in peaceful activities. Iran maintained that its peaceful nuclear programmes posed no threats to other States and that according to IAEA, there had never been any diversion in its peaceful nuclear activities. In Sri Lanka, fighting intensified between the Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The Secretary-General in January expressed concern about 250,000 civilians caught in the area of fighting and called on both parties to ensure their protection. In May, the Security Council expressed concern over reports of hundreds of civilian casualties in the north-east. Visiting Sri Lanka in May, after the Government declared that its military operation against LTTE had ended, the Secretary-General stressed the importance of accountability for addressing violations of humanitarian and human rights law. In November, the Secretary-General welcomed the release of over half of the internally displaced persons from camps in the north and called on the Government to prioritize the return of internally displaced persons.
Yearbook of the United Nations, 2009. v. 63; Vol. 63
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