Asia Pacific

COVID-19: UN chief outlines path to sustainable, inclusive recovery in Southeast Asia

Tackling inequality, bridging the digital divide, greening the economy, and upholding human rights and good governance will be critical for Southeast Asia to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN Secretary-General said on Thursday.

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).

Human rights report details ‘heartbreaking’ accounts of women detained in DPRK

Women forcibly returned to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) are subjected to torture, ill treatment, sexual abuse, and other violations, according to a report published on Tuesday by the UN Human Rights office.

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.

FROM THE FIELD: Supporting Nepal’s migrants, as overseas work dries up

Nepal is one most remittance-dependent countries in the world, with many Nepalese sending home around $8.79 billion from abroad. However, since the economic slowdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, work for many of them has dried up. The UN is supporting efforts to manage the large-scale influx of returnee workers.