Asia Pacific

Young Champions of the Earth: mapping clean water in China

A mobile app which tells the inhabitants of rural China if their water is safe to drink, has won a young woman from Beijing a top UN environmental award.

Iran nuclear deal: ‘Heated rhetoric and the heightened risk of miscalculation’ widen differences

Although the landmark Iran nuclear deal could improve regional stability if fully implemented, increased tensions have highlighted the risks posed by escalation, the UN’s Political and Peacebuilding Affairs chief told the Security Council on Tuesday. 

Afghanistan: Dedicated support required for ‘bigger year’ ahead

Although Afghanistan is coming to the end of a monumental year, authorities will still require international support as they assume greater responsibility for national security while battling COVID-19 and other challenges, UN Special Representative Deborah Lyons told a virtual meeting of the Security Council on Thursday. 

Young Champions of the Earth: Indian’s burning desire for energy

An Indian engineer has been recognized by the United Nations for developing innovative technology which not only produces energy, but which helps to keep the air cleaner and reduce climate change.

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. 

Social protection coverage in Asia and the Pacific ‘riddled with gaps’

More than half the population of the vast Asia and Pacific region lack any social protection coverage, leaving populations vulnerable to ill-health, poverty, inequality and social exclusion, a new UN report has found. 

Climate change ‘the defining challenge of our generation’ says New Zealand Ambassador

There is no vaccine against climate change, the Permanent Representative of New Zealand told the UN General Assembly debate on Tuesday, noting that now more than ever, the international community must “step up, collectively and in the common interest.”

Bilateral cooperation ‘only way’ to resolve repatriation issue, Myanmar Minister tells General Assembly

Bilateral cooperation is the only way to effectively resolve the repatriation issue between Myanmar and Bangladesh, the Minister of the Office of the State Counsellor of Myanmar, told the UN General Assembly. 

Bangladesh urges greater international action on Rohingya status

The Prime Minister of Bangladesh has called for stronger international action to help Rohingya refugees in the country to return to neighbouring Myanmar.