Asia Pacific

People of Myanmar face ‘unprecedented’ crisis in 2022 

The people of Myanmar are facing an unprecedented political, socioeconomic, human rights and humanitarian crisis with needs escalating dramatically since the military takeover and a severe COVID-19 third wave.  

Urgent action needed to save Rohingya refugees distressed at sea in Indonesia  

The UN refugee agency called on Wednesday for the immediate, life-saving disembarkation of a group of Rohingya refugees in distress at sea off the coast of Indonesia. 

Myanmar: Security Council condemns attack killing dozens

The Security Council condemned on Wednesday the reported killing of at least 35 people, including four children and two humanitarian workers in Myanmar’s Kayah State on 24 December.

Escalation in Yemen ‘worst in years’ – UN top envoy 

The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, said on Tuesday that a recent military escalation in the country is “among the worst” in years and increasingly putting civilians in crosshairs. 

UN Special Envoy calls for New Year’s ceasefire in Myanmar

The UN Special Envoy on Myanmar has appealed for a New Year’s ceasefire following weeks of escalating violence in the country. 

Champions of the Earth: The Sea Women of Melanesia

The Sea Women of Melanesia, a group of divers who give women in the South Pacific region the skills to monitor the health of coral reefs, and create and restore marine protected areas, have been named Champions of the Earth, the UN’s highest environmental award, in the Inspiration and Action category.

Iran: UN independent experts condemn secret execution of Kurdish prisoner

Two UN-appointed independent rights experts condemned the arbitrary execution in the strongest terms on Wednesday, of an Iranian Kurdish prisoner as a sign of “clear disregard for their obligations under international human rights law”.

Security Council paves way for aid to reach desperate Afghans

The Security Council on Wednesday unanimously adopted a resolution clearing the way for aid to reach Afghans in desperate need of basic support, while preventing funds from falling into the hands of the Taliban, a move welcomed by the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator as a “milestone” decision that will save lives.

Experts call for immediate release of Kashmiri human rights defender

Authorities in India must stop targeting prominent Kashmiri activist Khurram Parvez, a group of independent UN human rights experts said on Wednesday, while calling for his immediate release from detention. 

Champions of the Earth: Kyrgyzstan’s environmental entrepreneur

A picture of the Krygyz capital Bishkek, covered in a thick blanket of polluted air, spurred Maria Kolesnikova to start an environmental movement. Her efforts have been rewarded, as she’s now 2021 Champion of the Earth for Entrepreneurial Vision.