Asia Pacific

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.

UN human rights chief ‘appalled’ at Iran execution, questions trial process and verdict

Iran’s decision to hang media activist Ruhollah Zam on Saturday was an appalling violation of human rights that followed a deeply flawed trial process, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said in a statement on Monday.  

Improved Afghan law still fails victims of sex crimes and violence against women, UN report finds

Afghanistan’s justice system is continuing to fail female victims of violence and sex crimes, despite a 2009 law that was hailed as a significant step forward in legal efforts to protect them, according to a UN report published jointly on Monday by the UN human rights office (OHCHR) and the UN Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

Transfer of Rohingya refugees to Bay of Bengal island ‘must be voluntary’: UN refugee agency

The head of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), has voiced concerns over the reported relocation of some Rohingya refugees by Bangladeshi authorities, to an island off the country’s coast, in the Bay of Bengal. 

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.