Asia Pacific

First Person: COVID-19 helping Hawaiians to ‘recognize the importance of heritage’

Sabra Kauka is a cultural practitioner and teaches Hawaiian Studies at the Island School on the island of Kauai, in Hawaii, while acting as a coordinator for the Department of Education. As the daughter of an army officer, she spent much of her youth living overseas, but “felt the call to come home” to Hawaii as an adult after reading a newspaper article which highlighted the poor standard of living for indigenous Hawaiians in Hawaii.

Thailand’s COVID-19 response an example of resilience and solidarity: a UN Resident Coordinator’s Blog

In January, Thailand became the second country to confirm a COVID-19 case but, since then, the country has shown remarkable resilience and, as of late July, there had not been any recorded cases of domestic transmission for nearly two months. Gita Sabharwal, the UN Resident Coordinator in Thailand, explains that this success is thanks to a combination of government action, social responsibility and community solidarity. 

Philippines: UN and partners launch major COVID-19 response plan to aid 5.4 million

Prioritizing the safety and well-being of women and girls, the UN and partners launched on Tuesday a COVID-19 humanitarian response plan to assist some 5.4 million of the poorest and most marginalized people in the Philippines. 

Asia-Pacific: ‘Call to action’ highlights role of family farmers amidst COVID-19 pandemic

Although hundreds of millions of smallholder family farmers in Asia-Pacific produce a majority of the world’s food, the COVID-19 pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on their livelihoods, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

COVID-19 means development setbacks for Mongolia: a UN Resident Coordinator’s blog

Mongolia has recorded very few cases of COVID-19, less than 300 to date, despite its more than 4,000 kilometre porous border with China. However, the country faces a major economic impact from the pandemic, says Tapan Mishra, the UN Resident Coordinator in Mongolia.

Iran urged to release rights activist with COVID-19 symptoms ‘before it is too late’

A group of independent UN human rights experts has called for Iran to urgently release an activist who reportedly is ill with COVID-19 symptoms “before it is too late”.

COVID-19 lockdown in Myanmar exposes precarious position of LGBTQI population

In Myanmar, the COVID-19 lockdown has laid bare the stigmatization, discrimination and harassment faced by many LGBTQI people, particularly in rural areas. The United Nations is working to support those people.

Independent rights expert speaks of ‘anguish, stress and disempowerment’ of poverty

More than 70 million people are expected to fall into extreme poverty because of COVID-19, the UN Human Rights Council heard on Tuesday, as a leading rights expert slammed “greatly exaggerated” claims of global poverty eradication between 1990 and 2015.

UN rights office expresses alarm at Hong Kong arrests under new security law

The UN human rights office, OHCHR, has expressed alarm at the arrest of demonstrators in Hong Kong, following China’s adoption of a national security law for the Special Administrative Region (SAR).

Protect ordinary Afghans ahead of peace talks, urges UN Mission chief

Ahead of hoped-for peace talks between Afghan Government and Taliban negotiators, UN peacekeepers in Afghanistan have urged parties to “redouble” their efforts to keep civilians safe.