Asia Pacific

Some 1.8 million newborn deaths a year in South-East Asia are preventable – UN health agency

Nearly 7,400 newborns die every day in South-East Asia, causing untold misery to mothers and families, yet two thirds can be saved with proven cost-effective measures, the United Nations health agency said today, calling on Governments to act urgently against a scourge that kills 2.7 million newborns annually.

Ongoing border blockade on imports sends food and fuel prices ‘skyrocketing’ in Nepal – UN

Warning of severe shortages of food and fuel now plaguing Nepal caused by the ongoing major disruptions in imports across its southern border with India, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today predicted extreme hardship for the land-locked country if prices of basic food staples continue to soar.

Viet Nam: UN rights office alarmed at series of attacks against human rights defenders

Alarmed by the recent spate of violent attacks on human rights defenders in Viet Nam, the United Nations rights agency today expressed concern at the “apparent failure” of the Vietnamese authorities to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators and urged the Government to take measures to ensure security of all human rights defenders.

UN human rights chief calls for DPR Korea to be referred to International Criminal Court

The top United Nations human rights official today called on the Security Council to refer the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to the International Criminal Court, citing continuing gross rights violations, “the institutional nature and severity of which pose a threat to international peace and security.”

UN and Singapore agree to develop information management tool for peacekeeping operations

The United Nations and the Government of Singapore today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on the development of an information management tool in support of UN peacekeeping operations that can aid in enhancing situational awareness, trend analysis and early warning capacities in field missions.

UN human rights chief hails end of death penalty in Mongolia

Hailing Mongolia’s recent abolition of the death penalty, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, commended the move as a “welcome step in the fight for the human rights of all.”

Powerful El Niño intensifying in Asia and the Pacific region – UN

The ongoing El Niño weather pattern in the Asia and Pacific is likely to be one of the strongest since 1998 and will continue into early 2016, according to a new United Nations advisory, which urges regional cooperation for early warning, in-season mitigation, and long-term adaptation strategies to curb climate risk.

Nepal: UN aid agencies and partners appeal for access to life-saving medical supplies

United Nations agencies and their aid partners today expressed their “deepest concern” over critical and growing shortages of lifesaving medicines and supplies across Nepal and appealed to all sides to ease an effective blockade of the country’s southern border due to unrest over a new constitution.

Southeast Asian countries pledge cooperation on Bay of Bengal mixed migration – UN refugee agency

Southeast Asian countries today affirmed that the only way to reduce loss of life at sea is by working together on comprehensive and sustainable approaches to mixed migration movements, the United Nations refugee agency said as the resumption of dangerous sea journeys in the region loomed.

Celebrity chefs serve up free meals from discarded food – UN environment agency

For those who have never tried ‘rejected’ veggie curry made with ‘saved’ coconut milk served with ‘broken rice’ and washed down with corn cob tea, two United Nations agencies have joined up with an Australian food charity for an event with a menu that also included ‘fish scrap cake’ and ‘rescued’ mango relish, accompanied by ‘leftover’ nine-grain followed by ‘rescued’ bread pudding for dessert.