Asia Pacific

More than half a million Rohingya in Bangladesh get ID cards for first time: UN refugee agency

More than 500,000 Rohingya refugees who fled a brutal crackdown in Myanmar two years ago, have received identification cards that the UN insisted on Friday were critical to safeguarding their right to return home.

Asia and Pacific on course to miss all Sustainable Development Goals, says UN region chief

Unless progress is accelerated, Asia and the Pacific are on course to miss all of the 17 Goals of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Executive Secretary of the UN regional commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), told UN News at the Organization's Headquarters on Wednesday.

UN chief accepts independent report on Myanmar, highlighting ‘systemic’ failure surrounding Rohingya crisis

An independent review into how the UN System operated in Myanmar in the years leading up to the mass exodus of the Rohingya following serious human rights abuses, has concluded there were “systemic and structural failures” that prevented a unified strategy from being implemented.

Asylum seekers in Sri Lanka fear for their safety, in wake of Easter Sunday terror attacks

Since the suicide bombings in Sri Lanka on April 21, there have been concerns for the safety of refugees and asylum seekers living in the country: in the immediate aftermath, there were reports of refugees being targeted and forced from their homes by angry mobs threatening reprisals for the Easter Sunday attacks which targeted Christian churches, as well as upscale hotels.

In Afghanistan, attacks against schools have tripled in one year

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Monday that much greater protection for educational facilities was needed across Afghanistan where attacks against schools have increased three-fold in just one year. The call coincides with the third International Conference on Safe Schools, taking place this week in Mallorca, Spain.

North Koreans trapped in ‘vicious cycle of deprivation, corruption, repression’ and endemic bribery: UN human rights office

Bribery is the main way people in North Korea get food, healthcare, shelter and work, a new UN human rights office report said on Tuesday.

Around 600,000 Afghan children face death through malnutrition without emergency funds: UNICEF

In Afghanistan, children suffering from the most serious form of malnutrition may die, unless $7 million in funding is found within weeks, UNICEF said on Friday.

UN chief outlines ‘intertwined challenges’ of climate change, ocean health facing Pacific nations on the ‘frontline’

Visiting Fiji for the first time as Secretary-General, António Guterres outlined two “fundamental challenges” facing leaders attending the Pacific Islands Forum on Tuesday, namely climate change and the world’s rising ocean, which threatens to submerge low-lying nations.

Paradise islands of Pacific increasingly vulnerable to climate change, as UN boosts resilience

A seeming paradise, life on the Pacific islands is threatened by climate change and extreme weather, frustrated by remoteness and a lack of educational and economic opportunities. Secretary-General António Guterres begins a visit to the region this weekend, where he will speak to people living on some of the islands and see for himself how the UN is helping to mitigate some of the biggest issues. 

Release of prize-winning Reuters journalists in Myanmar welcomed by UN

The release of two prize-winning Reuters journalists jailed in Myanmar after reporting on the massacre of Rohingya Muslims has been welcomed by the UN human rights office, OHCHR, which warns however that press freedom there remains “dire”.