Asia Pacific

First Person: COVID education is child’s play for Thai UN volunteer

An innovative initiative to provide child-friendly information about COVID-19 has been launched by a UN volunteer (UNV) in Thailand who recognized that children needed to know more about the dangers of the virus but also have fun learning at home during the lockdown. On International Volunteer Day marked annually on 5 December, UNICEF’s Rasa Pattikasemkul talks about motivation, family loss and keeping children safe.

Vanuatu graduates from list of least developed countries

The Pacific island nation of Vanuatu has graduated from the official list of Least Developed Countries (LDC), becoming the sixth country to achieve the milestone since the development categorization was created in 1971. 

UN human rights office worried by killings in Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua

Violence is escalating in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua, where meaningful and inclusive dialogue is urgently needed to address longstanding economic, social and political grievances, the UN human rights office said on Monday.  

FROM THE FIELD: Answering the call for help in Thailand

Violence against women and girls at home affects millions globally. The problem is particularly pervasive as it occurs in a space women and girls should feel most secure. 

UN experts decry Iran’s reported plan to execute Iranian-Swedish academic

Iran must halt any planned execution of Iranian-Swedish academic Ahmadreza Djalali, who has not been given a fair trial and was forced to confess under torture, two experts advising the UN Human Rights Council said on Wednesday. 

Afghanistan: UN’s Grandi and Bachelet put plea for lasting ceasefire top of their wishlist

Two top UN officials called for an end to the long-running conflict in Afghanistan on Monday, telling a major conference in Geneva that normality could only return to the country if there was a sustained ceasefire.  

Afghanistan: UN chief underscores need to end violence following deadly rocket attacks

The UN Secretary-General has condemned rocket attacks in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, on Saturday which killed at least eight civilians and wounded many more.

Backed by space technology, Asia-Pacific countries power sustainable development

Asian and Pacific nations are leveraging space technology and geospatial information to respond to challenges on the ground, including in their efforts to contain the spread and mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new United Nations report. 

New Asian trade bloc could play key role in driving investment 

A new trade bloc covering a huge swathe of the Asia-Pacific region will play an important role in developing poorer economies and in post-pandemic stimulus, according to a report published on Monday by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).  

UN human rights experts denounce ‘concerted attempt’ to erode civic space in Cambodia

Voicing concerns over increasing restrictions on civil society in Cambodia, a group of independent UN human rights experts have called for an immediate end to the systematic detention and criminalization of activists.