Asia Pacific

Brunei’s new penal code would enshrine ‘cruel and inhuman punishments’ UN rights chief warns

Proposed changes to Brunei’s penal code to incorporate punishments under a strict interpretation of Islamic law - including death by stoning - should be halted, the UN’s top human rights official, Michelle Bachelet, said on Monday.

UN’s Bachelet rejects Sri Lankan official’s ‘spin’ on Human Rights Council encounter, urges reforms

The UN’s top rights official on Wednesday rejected claims by Sri Lankan officials that she distanced herself from a report on the country and instructed her staff to be more “cautious” in future, before stressing her commitment to justice for victims of grave abuses during the civil war.

UN chief expresses solidarity with Indonesian authorities after flash floods kill dozens in Papua

More than 70 have died and dozens are missing in Indonesia’s eastern province of Papua, which was hit by flash floods and landslides on Sunday, and more than 4,000 have reportedly been displaced.

‘Stand united against anti-Muslim hatred’ urges Guterres, after mosque shootings in New Zealand leave 49 dead

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres has urged the international community to ‘stand united against anti-Muslim hatred’ following a mass shooting in New Zealand on Friday targeting two mosques, which has left at least 49 dead and many others wounded, some critically.

Nearly four million North Koreans in urgent need, as food production slumps by almost 10 per cent

The UN is calling for some $120 million to provide life-saving humanitarian aid, desperately needed by 3.8 million North Koreans, as it releases its 2019 Needs and Priorities Plan for the country.

Stateless Rohingya refugee children living in ‘untenable situation’, UNICEF chief

With around half a million in effect, stateless Rohingya refugee children living in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar camp, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) chief stressed on Friday that the international community must address their “untenable situation” and “invest in this generation”.

Another sombre milestone for Afghanistan: 2018 saw record civilian deaths – UN report

With over 3,800 civilian women, children and men killed in just one year, Afghanistan has hit yet another “deeply disturbing and wholly unacceptable” record, according to a new report issued on Sunday by the UN political mission in the country (UNAMA) and the UN human rights office (OHCHR).

UN chief lauds Philippines’ ‘landmark achievement’ on setting up transition authority in Bangsamoro

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres congratulated the Philippines on Friday for establishing a government body to push forward the formal creation of an autonomous region.

UN chief urges India and Pakistan to dial down tensions in wake of Kashmir attack

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Tuesday called on India and Pakistan to take steps to defuse tensions in the wake an attack in Kashmir late last week that left dozes of Indian security forces dead.

UN rights chief ‘strongly condemns’ attack on Indian security forces in Kashmir

The top United Nations human rights official has strongly condemned the suicide bomb attack against Indian security forces in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on 14 February and has called on authorities to bring those responsible to justice.