Asia Pacific

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.

Independent UN rights experts call for decisive measures to protect ‘fundamental freedoms’ in China

The repression of “fundamental freedoms” by the Chinese Government prompted nearly 50 UN independent experts on Friday to express their continuing alarm, urging the country to “abide by its international legal obligations”.

COVID-19 upends ‘entire generation’ of 600 million South Asian children

Without urgent action, COVID-19 will continue to unravel decades of progress across South Asia, destroying the “hopes and futures of an entire generation”, warns a new report released on Tuesday by the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF.

Afghanistan: UN condemns attacks on healthcare amid COVID-19 pandemic

Fifteen attacks on healthcare in Afghanistan were recorded during the first two months of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report published on Sunday by the UN Assistance Mission in the country, UNAMA.

Hong Kong: Draft law on national security must comply with rights obligations

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Friday that her office was closely following developments as China’s top legislative body, the National People’s Congress, holds talks on a proposed national security law for Hong Kong.

Conviction of Filipino journalist ‘a new low’, says independent UN expert

The conviction of prominent Filipino journalist Maria Ressa has been described by an independent UN expert as “a new low in the Philippines’ protection of the freedom of expression” and “the ability of an independent media to function in the country”.

What does ‘build back better’ really mean? One of the world’s top CEOs give us his take

UN chief António Guterres, has warned of an “unparalleled economic shock”, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. So, going forward, can the private sector “build back better” to reorder the post-pandemic world, or, might the UN’s vision of a sustainable future be relegated to a low-priority aspiration? We put these questions to the CEO of one of the world’s largest conglomerates, who is working with the Organization, towards a better future.

FROM THE FIELD: Pacific islanders confront twin threats of climate change and coronavirus

People living on an isolated island community in the Pacific Ocean are finding ways to reduce their dependence on expensive imported food while promoting climate resilient farming techniques, thanks to a programme supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP).