Asia Pacific

Ending war only ‘real hope’ for prosperous Afghanistan: UN mission chief

Only by ending the war in Afghanistan can there be “real hope” for a prosperous future for the country, the top UN official there said on Thursday. 

Independent UN rights experts raise alarm over ‘incommunicado detention’ of Chinese scholar

Independent United Nations human rights experts expressed apprehension on Thursday over the “incommunicado detention” of a Uyghur Muslim academic who has reportedly been sentenced to death. 

FROM THE FIELD: The Comeback Crane

An endangered species of crane has been saved from extinction in Thailand, thanks to a project supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). 

New citizenship law in India ‘fundamentally discriminatory’: UN human rights office

A new law in India which expedites citizenship for certain religious minorities has been criticized by the UN human rights office for being “fundamentally discriminatory in nature.” 

North Korea missile tests ‘deeply troubling’: senior UN official

Recent developments concerning North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes are “deeply troubling”, the UN’s Assistant Secretary-General for the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific said on Wednesday, briefed the Security Council.

Samoa measles outbreak claims 70 lives, majority are children under five

Seventy people have now died from Samoa’s measles outbreak, UN humanitarians confirmed on Tuesday, as the organization released emergency funding to help the authorities step up efforts to eradicate the preventable disease.

Aung San Suu Kyi appears at ICJ as UN rights expert urges greater protection for Myanmar activists

Authorities in Myanmar and social media companies are being urged to take greater action to protect activists in the south-east Asian country who are fighting for justice and accountability for crimes committed against the minority Rohingya population in 2016 and 2017. 

UN team aids Samoa response to deadly measles epidemic

UN teams are on the ground in Samoa as the country combats a deadly measles epidemic. So far, there have been more than 4,200 cases and 62 deaths, mainly babies, prompting authorities to declare a state of emergency on 15 November and launch a mass vaccination campaign five days later.

FROM THE FIELD: India’s plastic waste revolution

The recycling of plastic waste in India is boosting the incomes of impoverished women and helping build roads and fire cement furnaces, thanks to support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). 

One-third of Afghans need urgent humanitarian aid, millions suffer ‘acute food insecurity’

Over the last three months (August to October 2019), around one-third of the Afghan population required urgent humanitarian action, according to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Alert, released on Monday, which declares that some 10.23 million people are living in a state of “severe acute food insecurity”.