Asia Pacific

‘Build forward fairer’ report, urges new social contract for Asia and the Pacific

The Asia and Pacific region’s economic recovery from COVID and other global shocks, must be anchored in an inclusive “new social contract”, to protect the vulnerable in the years ahead, according to a new Economic and Social Survey of the region, published on Tuesday by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

The dangers of defending women accused of sorcery in Papua New Guinea

In Papua New Guinea, defending women accused of sorcery, has become a life-threatening occupation. The UN and European Union run Spotlight Initiative, is promoting legislation that will protect threatened human rights defenders in the country, who risk violence, torture, and death.

Respect and protect basic human rights in Sri Lanka, UN experts urge

Following this week’s crackdown on non-violent demonstrations in Sri Lanka, independent UN human rights experts urged the government on Friday to “ensure that all human rights be respected and protected” and guarantee the fundamental rights of peaceful assembly and expression.

Sri Lanka: Mishandling of economic crisis triggers alarm over rights violations 

The UN human rights office (OHCHR) on Tuesday urged authorities in Sri Lanka to defuse tensions peacefully, after a state of emergency was declared in response to protests over the country’s deepening economic crisis.      

World can end ‘downward humanitarian spiral’ of Afghanistan

As the world focuses its attention on the war in Ukraine, the UN reminded the international community on Thursday to remember Afghanistan as it kicked off a pledging conference to save the lives and livelihoods of those in the landlocked country. As the conference drew to a close, it was announced that a total amount of $2.4 billion had been promised.

Response plan launched to support 1.4 million Rohingya and Bangladeshis

“Robust and sustained international support” is again needed for Rohingya refugees and the Bangladeshi communities generously hosting them, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Tuesday.

Fighting child marriage in India, thanks to school and a mobile phone

With the help of an innovative mobile phone service, UN agencies are working with the Government of Rajasthan, India, to combat child marriage.

Call for unity in Security Council over latest DPR Korea missile test

The top UN political affairs official urged the Security Council on Friday to be united in its response to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) latest intercontinental ballistic missile launch – the country’s first long-range test since 2017 – as delegates met on Friday afternoon in emergency session, to discuss the matter.

Guterres strongly condemns DPR Korea long-range ballistic missile launch

The UN chief on Thursday strongly condemned the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, more commonly known as North Korea, its first such long-range test, since 2017. 

Taliban’s backtracking on girls’ education, ‘deeply damaging’

Following a U-turn over re-opening girls’ secondary schools in Afghanistan on Wednesday, the UN human rights chief shared her “profound frustration and disappointment” that six months after the Taliban seized power, high school girls have yet to return to the classroom.