Asia Pacific

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.

Asia-Pacific ‘regional parliament’ underway to advance equality, empowerment, for more than four billion citizens

The top United Nations body in the Asia-Pacific region opened its annual session this week, calling for greater empowerment of disadvantaged and marginalized groups if the region is to achieve the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and fulfill its promise to leave no one behind.

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.

UN Mission in Afghanistan gravely concerned about ill-treatment of prisoners by Taliban, following first-hand testimony

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) expressed “grave concern” on Sunday over “credible accounts” it has been given that Taliban militants have been mistreating prisoners, which in some cases “may amount to torture”. 

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.

FROM THE FIELD: Saving the tree kangaroos of Papua New Guinea

The survival of an endangered animal which looks part kangaroo and part lemur has been secured thanks to a project in Papua New Guinea (PNG) supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

UN chief calls for ‘enlightened self-interest’ from world leaders to save ‘the whole planet’ from climate change 

Concluding a week-long visit to the South Pacific, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called on the world’s decision-makers to make “enlightened” choices on climate action because “the whole planet” is at stake. 

Stop Tuvalu and ‘the world from sinking’ UN chief tells island nation facing existential threat from rising seas

Tuvalu “faces an existential threat from sea-level rise”, the United Nations chief said during his visit to the Pacific island nation on Friday whose highest point is less than five metres above the waves.

‘Climate change is the battle of my life’, UN chief tells students living on the frontline in Fiji

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres saw the frontline of “the battle against climate change” for himself on Thursday, by taking to the tropical waters of the South Pacific off the coast of Fiji, on a solar-powered boat.