Asia Pacific

Afghanistan: More action needed to stop killings of human rights defenders 

The death of nine human rights defenders since the beginning of this year marks “the emergence of a truly alarming trend", an independent UN rights expert said on Friday, calling on Afghanistan to prevent any further killings.

Real Life Heroes: heading into disaster, in the service of others

Growing up in Indonesia in the shadow of an active volcano, Agus Haryono has witnessed the deadly risks of living in a disaster-prone region. This prompted him to join the country’s Search and Rescue Agency, in the hope of saving lives, when disaster strikes.

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. 

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).

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.