Asia Pacific

UN, world leaders, condemn Sri Lanka terrorist attacks targeting churches, hotels, which leave more than 200 dead

More than 200 have been killed and hundreds injured by a series of explosions inside churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, as Christians gathered for services to celebrate Easter. In a statement, UN chief António Guterres said he was "outraged by the terror attacks" and called for the perpetrators to be "swiftly brought to justice".

UN Security Council condemns Taliban offensive as a blow against ‘sustainable peace’

The United Nations Security Council has condemned the announcement by Taliban militants in Afghanistan of its spring offensive, saying it will result in more “unnecessary suffering and destruction for the Afghan people”.

Millions of Bangladeshi children at risk from climate crisis, warns UNICEF

More than 19 million children in Bangladesh are at risk from devastating floods, cyclones and other environmental disasters linked to climate change, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned on Friday in a new report. 

UN agencies urge Brunei to repeal new ‘extreme and unjustified’ penal code

New criminal laws in Brunei that impose the death penalty for same-sex relationships, adultery and childbirth out of marriage, “breach international human rights norms”, and should be suspended or repealed said the heads of two United Nations agencies on Thursday.

Brunei’s new penal code would enshrine ‘cruel and inhuman punishments’ UN rights chief warns

Proposed changes to Brunei’s penal code to incorporate punishments under a strict interpretation of Islamic law - including death by stoning - should be halted, the UN’s top human rights official, Michelle Bachelet, said on Monday.

Asia-Pacific showing ‘decisive leadership’ on road to 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, deputy UN chief tells key forum

Nations across Asia and the Pacific need to take bold action to ensure empowerment, inclusiveness and equality if the region is to realize the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a major UN conference has heard.

UN’s Bachelet rejects Sri Lankan official’s ‘spin’ on Human Rights Council encounter, urges reforms

The UN’s top rights official on Wednesday rejected claims by Sri Lankan officials that she distanced herself from a report on the country and instructed her staff to be more “cautious” in future, before stressing her commitment to justice for victims of grave abuses during the civil war.

‘Mosques should be safe havens, not sites of terror’, says Guterres announcing UN plan to help safeguard religious sites

In the wake of a horrific mass shooting at two New Zealand mosques, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has announced his intention to launch a UN action plan for the safeguarding of religious sites, declaring that “mosques and all places of prayer and contemplation should be safe havens, not sites of terror.”

‘Growing alarm’ over Fall Armyworm advance, with cash crops ‘under attack’ across Asia

The Fall Armyworm pest is continuing to sweep across the globe, having moved eastwards from their native Americas, onto Africa, before arriving in Asia only last summer, where they now threaten to cost farmers from India to Thailand, billions of dollars in lost production. 

UN chief expresses solidarity with Indonesian authorities after flash floods kill dozens in Papua

More than 70 have died and dozens are missing in Indonesia’s eastern province of Papua, which was hit by flash floods and landslides on Sunday, and more than 4,000 have reportedly been displaced.