Asia-Pacific

The UN’s Vital Role in Afghanistan

On December 22, 2021, the UN Security Council voted unanimously to allow for more humanitarian assistance to reach vulnerable Afghans, while preventing the abuse of these funds by their Taliban rulers.

Health Workers Lauded for Role in Leprosy Treatment During Pandemic

The human rights of people affected by leprosy are central to Yohei Sasakawa’s concept of a leprosy-free world.

Human Trafficking, Rape, Extortion Behind ‘Forced Conversions’, say Experts

Two years after Michelle, 15, was kidnapped, sold, forced to convert to Islam and married to a stranger, relatives still ostracise her.

Asia-Pacific: Just 5% of the Region’s Population Owns 70% of Its Total Wealth

The Asia-Pacific region is experiencing growing inequality even while registering impressive economic growth and poverty reduction. Such sharp inequalities continue to be persistent in the region, with nearly 2 in 4 people still unable to afford a healthy diet.

Can Barter System Work in Today’s India?

When COVID-19 hit in early 2020, it affected every aspect of people’s lives. For many from the most marginalised sections of society, it meant loss of employment and lack of access to education, food, and the market, among other things.

The Straw that Broke Kazakhstan’s Back

The most violent protests of the past 30 years have erupted across Kazakhstan — exposing decades of inequality, injustice, and corruption. The protests of an unprecedented scale have rocked cities across Kazakhstan for days, as the population grew increasingly dissatisfied with the country’s leadership.

China Opens Embassy in Nicaragua for First Time since 1990 after Taiwan Ties Cut

For the first time since 1990, China has (re)opened an embassy in Managua, Nicaragua, less than a month after Nicaragua cut ties with Taiwan. The (re)opening of the embassy on January 1, 2022 comes amidst the backdrop of US-China tensions, particularly over trade and Taiwan, as well as worsening Cross-Straits relations.

Once Tossed and Abused, Human Trafficking Survivor Finds Solace

For over two decades, Nina tossed around like a leaf in a storm. While a teenager, she was lured into the sex trade, and pimps kept a huge chunk of the money that she earned as a sex slave. Nina was often bruised. Once, she refused sex with a man who did not want to use a condom. He beat her so severely that she had found it difficult to breathe.

Why Does Yangtze River Have its Own Protection Law?

The new Yangtze River Protection Law (YRPL), which came into effect on March 1, 2021, is China’s first legislation on a specific river basin. The Yangtze River is China’s longest and largest river system, stretching over 6,300 kilometres and has over 700 tributaries. With a drainage basin covering more than 1.8 million square kilometres, approximately one-fifth of China’s total land area, the river basin is home to over 40% of the country’s population.

The Impact of Air Pollution on Child Health

Air pollution is a global public health crisis, and air pollution levels in India are among the highest in the world, posing a heavy threat to the country’s health and economy. According to the 2019 World Air Quality Report, India is home to 21 of the 30 most polluted cities in the world. In these cities, air quality can be as much as 10 times over the safe limits of air pollution recommended by the WHO.

Extraordinary Lives of Indian Muslim Women Documented

It’s time the achievements of Indian Muslim women were documented to make their contribution to society visible, says international health and gender expert Dr Farah Usmani.

Interview with Siddharth Chatterjee, UN Resident Coordinator in China, on the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics

The interview was originally conducted by Beijing Daily. Beijing Daily: The world is paying attention to whether the Beijing Winter Olympic Games can be successfully held 6 months after the Tokyo Olympics in the face of COVID-19. How do you evaluate the preparations for the Beijing Winter Olympics? What is the key to the success of the Beijing Winter Olym-pics? What kind of signal will the successful hosting of the Beijing Winter Olympics send to the world?

Vaccines, Diagnostics and Therapeutics as Global Public Goods

Countries in the Asia-Pacific region are trying their best to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic by rapidly rolling out vaccination programmes and putting in place public health interventions to reduce its impact. At the end of November, there were 262 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and 5.2 million deaths globally. About 60 per cent of all COVID-19 cases and half of all COVID-19 related deaths were in Asia and the Pacific. About 7.8 billion vaccines have been administered globally, and vaccine supply is generally improving.

Quest for Asian Innovation & Solutions in a Networked World

The UN’s 76th anniversary in 2021 arrived at a time of great upheaval and change. If the world is to transition from COVID-19 and we are to deliver on our promises to future generations - to secure a world where everyone can thrive in peace, dignity, and equality on a healthy planet – then 2022 must be the year we change both gear and discourse.

Covid-19 Has Accelerated New Agtech Development and Adoption in Asia-Pacific!

While the COVID-19 impact has been predominantly negative, the pandemic appears to have sparked increased interest in developing agricultural technology (agtech) to improve the efficiency of food systems, from input supplies through farming and processing to delivery and retail.

A New Transport Agenda to Carry Asia and the Pacific Towards Sustainable Development

Transport ministers from across Asia and the Pacific are meeting this week to consider a potentially transformational agenda for how people and goods are moved around the region and across the globe.

Open Letter to the Secretary General, Heads of UN Agencies & International Donor Community

We are former UN officials with decades of combined experience supporting international civil society and governments to advance the rights of women and girls.

Noorjehan Niaz and Zakia Soman: Bonded to Change the Trajectory of Muslim Women in India

Discriminated in society and concerned about the discrimination of women in their homes, the two women who co-founded the Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) started the movement to further Muslim women’s leadership and help them reclaim their rights.

Fighting Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting in Asia – Podcast

I suspect that most of you have at least heard of female genital mutilation, or FGM. It’s a practice that happens in numerous African countries, in which girls’ genitalia are removed or cut, for cultural or religious reasons. FGM has been condemned globally for years and campaigners continue working to end it.

‘Great Mining Migration’: Power-Hungry Bitcoin Leaves China

On 14 April this year, the price of a single Bitcoin reached a then all-time-high of around US$64,870. Just over a month later, the price of the world’s most popular digital currency had tumbled to $34,259.

APDA Young Leaders Devise Solutions for the Future

Whether you look at society, the environment, or technology – the world is changing rapidly. Global organizations strive to adapt to this change. The United Nations, for example, has developed the Sustainable Development Goals as a blueprint for human development.

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