Asia Pacific

A quarter of Pacific islanders live below ‘basic needs poverty lines’, top UN development forum hears

While progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been made over the past four years, some vulnerable island States are losing momentum in the race to 2030, according to discussions at the United Nations’ annual High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) on Wednesday.

Take action on air pollution to save lives, and the planet, urges UN chief

In a message to mark World Environment Day, celebrated on Wednesday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has emphasized the link between worsening levels of air pollution and the climate crisis.

‘Bicycle Kingdom’ makes a comeback, as China seeks solutions to tackle air pollution crisis

Cars have replaced bicycles as the primary means of transport in many Chinese cities but, with air pollution a major problem for the country, the bike is making a comeback, thanks to digital technology, and some 21st Century thinking.

UN chief calls for ‘enlightened self-interest’ from world leaders to save ‘the whole planet’ from climate change 

Concluding a week-long visit to the South Pacific, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called on the world’s decision-makers to make “enlightened” choices on climate action because “the whole planet” is at stake. 

UN chief praises New Zealand premier’s ‘admirable’ response to Christchurch attacks

Speaking to media in the New Zealand capital Auckland on Sunday, alongside New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, UN Secretary-General António Guterres expressed his solidarity with the victims and families of the March Christchurch mosque attacks, which killed 51 people, and praised Ms. Ardern’s leadership in the aftermath of the killings. 

North Korean families facing deep ‘hunger crisis’ after worst harvest in 10 years, UN food assessment shows

More than 10 million North Koreans are suffering “severe food shortages” after the worst harvest in a decade, according to a United Nations food security assessment released on Friday.

Asia-Pacific showing ‘decisive leadership’ on road to 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, deputy UN chief tells key forum

Nations across Asia and the Pacific need to take bold action to ensure empowerment, inclusiveness and equality if the region is to realize the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a major UN conference has heard.

‘Mosques should be safe havens, not sites of terror’, says Guterres announcing UN plan to help safeguard religious sites

In the wake of a horrific mass shooting at two New Zealand mosques, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has announced his intention to launch a UN action plan for the safeguarding of religious sites, declaring that “mosques and all places of prayer and contemplation should be safe havens, not sites of terror.”

‘Growing alarm’ over Fall Armyworm advance, with cash crops ‘under attack’ across Asia

The Fall Armyworm pest is continuing to sweep across the globe, having moved eastwards from their native Americas, onto Africa, before arriving in Asia only last summer, where they now threaten to cost farmers from India to Thailand, billions of dollars in lost production. 

Despite progress towards peace, Afghanistan facing ‘daunting challenges’ ahead of presidential vote

The UN Special Representative in Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto, hailed on-going efforts made towards peace and the engagement of women and youth across the country, but warned the Security Council on Monday that “daunting challenges” remain.