Asia Pacific

UN chief accepts independent report on Myanmar, highlighting ‘systemic’ failure surrounding Rohingya crisis

An independent review into how the UN System operated in Myanmar in the years leading up to the mass exodus of the Rohingya following serious human rights abuses, has concluded there were “systemic and structural failures” that prevented a unified strategy from being implemented.

Civilians ‘must never be a target,’ says UN in Afghanistan, amid troubling number of casualties during Ramadan

The United Nations has urged all parties to the “ongoing intense conflict” across Afghanistan to meet their obligations to protect civilians from harm, denouncing a spate of attacks by militants which killed more than 100 civilians in Kabul alone during  Ramadan.

Take action on air pollution to save lives, and the planet, urges UN chief

In a message to mark World Environment Day, celebrated on Wednesday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has emphasized the link between worsening levels of air pollution and the climate crisis.

‘Bicycle Kingdom’ makes a comeback, as China seeks solutions to tackle air pollution crisis

Cars have replaced bicycles as the primary means of transport in many Chinese cities but, with air pollution a major problem for the country, the bike is making a comeback, thanks to digital technology, and some 21st Century thinking.

Asylum seekers in Sri Lanka fear for their safety, in wake of Easter Sunday terror attacks

Since the suicide bombings in Sri Lanka on April 21, there have been concerns for the safety of refugees and asylum seekers living in the country: in the immediate aftermath, there were reports of refugees being targeted and forced from their homes by angry mobs threatening reprisals for the Easter Sunday attacks which targeted Christian churches, as well as upscale hotels.

Asia-Pacific ‘regional parliament’ underway to advance equality, empowerment, for more than four billion citizens

The top United Nations body in the Asia-Pacific region opened its annual session this week, calling for greater empowerment of disadvantaged and marginalized groups if the region is to achieve the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and fulfill its promise to leave no one behind.

In Afghanistan, attacks against schools have tripled in one year

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Monday that much greater protection for educational facilities was needed across Afghanistan where attacks against schools have increased three-fold in just one year. The call coincides with the third International Conference on Safe Schools, taking place this week in Mallorca, Spain.

North Koreans trapped in ‘vicious cycle of deprivation, corruption, repression’ and endemic bribery: UN human rights office

Bribery is the main way people in North Korea get food, healthcare, shelter and work, a new UN human rights office report said on Tuesday.

UN Mission in Afghanistan gravely concerned about ill-treatment of prisoners by Taliban, following first-hand testimony

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) expressed “grave concern” on Sunday over “credible accounts” it has been given that Taliban militants have been mistreating prisoners, which in some cases “may amount to torture”. 

Around 600,000 Afghan children face death through malnutrition without emergency funds: UNICEF

In Afghanistan, children suffering from the most serious form of malnutrition may die, unless $7 million in funding is found within weeks, UNICEF said on Friday.