Asia-Pacific

Fighting Inequality in Asia and the Pacific

Inequality is increasing in Asia and the Pacific. Our region’s remarkable economic success story belies a widening gap between rich and poor. A gap that’s trapping people in poverty and, if not tackled urgently, could thwart our ambition to achieve sustainable development. This is the central challenge heads of state and government will be considering this week at the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). A strengthened regional approach to more sustainable, inclusive growth must be this Commission’s outcome.

“Green Development Has to Be Equal for All”

IPS caught up with Dr. Frank Rijsberman, director-general of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), at the end of the flagship side event of the GGGI during the 51st Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila on May 4, 2018, which featured the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its potential to create sustainable infrastructure and promote green growth pathways.

Belt and Road Initiative Vows Green Infrastructure with Connectivity

"My son in primary school did not attend a birthday celebration because it was cancelled due to bad air -- and we live in Seoul, a great place to live," said Dr. Frank Rijsberman, director-general of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).

Economic and Social Survey for Asia and the Pacific 2018 – Mobilizing finance for sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

Asia and the Pacific remains the engine of the global economy. It continues to power trade, investment and jobs the world over. Two thirds of the region’s economies grew faster in 2017 than the previous year and the trend is expected to continue in 2018. The region’s challenge is now to ensure this growth is robust, sustainable and mobilised to provide more financing for development. It is certainly an opportunity to accelerate progress towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Displaced Pashtuns Return to Find Homes “Teeming” with Landmines

"If I'm assured that my home and my village has been de-mined, I'd be the first to return with my family," says 54-year old Mohammad Mumtaz Khan.

Myanmar Unlikely to Resolve Rohingya Problem Without International Help

The lead-up to the Australia-ASEAN Summit in Sydney on 16-18 March 2018 was characterised by widespread and well-publicised protests in Sydney against human rights abuses occurring in several ASEAN member countries – namely Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam.

The Nowhere People: Rohingyas in India

A devastating fire in a shanty at Kalindi Kunj, a New Delhi suburb, that gutted the homes of 226 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, including 100 women and 50 children, has trained a spotlight on India's ad hoc policy on international migrants.

Kidnapped, Abducted and Abandoned…

Kidnappings and abductions have soared since 2001. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) shows that their share in total crimes against women nearly doubled from 10% in 2001 to 19% in 2016. More striking is the fact that 11 women were kidnapped or abducted every day in Delhi in 2016. What these statistics do not reveal are brutal gang-rapes of kidnapped minors and women, multiple sales to husbands who treat them as animals, unwanted pregnancies, police inaction, and frequent abandonment with nowhere to go—not even to their maternal homes—because of the stigma of a being a “prostitute”.

Drowning for Progress in Cambodia

Suddenly the road ends. The cart track disappears under the water. A vast lake stretches out in front of me. I have to transfer from a motorbike to a canoe. "Tuk laang," my guide says coolly. "The water is rising."

For Many Migrants, No Land Is Sweeter Than Home

Most migrants to Europe, Australia and the United States from Rangpur in northern Bangladesh leave home at a young age and return when they have just passed middle age.

India Cracks Down on Human Trafficking

The Indian Union Cabinet has cleared the long-awaited Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, which proposes an imprisonment of 10 years to life term for those trafficking humans for the purpose of begging, marriage, prostitution or labour, among others. The bill will become a law once cleared by both houses of Parliament.

How Citizen Power Ignited Seoul’s Energy Innovations

In a bid to reduce its nuclear energy dependence, Seoul embarked on a massive energy reduction initiative—shaped by citizen participation—in 2012.

Solving Japan’s Fertility Crisis

While much of the global discussion for decades has been focused on overpopulation and its consequences, less can be said of the risks of low fertility and an ageing population—risks that are currently threatening the future of Japan.

Celebrations Herald a New Set of Hurdles for Bangladesh

Bangladesh’s great strides in human development were widely celebrated this month, although they come at the potential cost of Western trade benefits that have helped underpin the nation’s export success for decades.

Former UN Chief Takes the Helm of Global Green Growth Institute

In the face of climate change and growing energy demand in developing countries, Ban Ki-moon, the new president and chair of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), unveiled his vision for a more sustainable path by helping countries in their transition to greener economies and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

LDC GRADUATION: What it means for Bangladesh

On March 16, 2018, for the second time in the history of independent Bangladesh, the country was adorned with a crown for its achievements in development. The first time was in 2015 when it upgraded itself to the World Bank's “lower middle income” category by increasing its Gross National Income.

A Breath of Fresh Air in India

With India’s citizens clamouring for breathable air and efficient energy options, the country’s planners are more receptive than ever to explore sustainable development options, says Frank Rijsberman, Director-General of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).

Dowry Death or Murder?

Dowry deaths rose from about 19 per day in 2001 to 21 per day in 2016.It is indeed alarming that the rise in dowry deaths is unabated despite greater stringency of anti-dowry laws. In 1961, the Dowry Prohibition Act made giving and taking of dowry, its abetment or the demand for it an offence punishable with imprisonment and fine or without the latter. This was an abysmal failure as dowries became a nationwide phenomenon, replacing bride price. More stringent laws followed. The Criminal Law Amendment Act in 1983 inserted a new section (498-A) to deal with persistent and grave instances of dowry demand and such offences were punishable with imprisonment extendable to three years. As cases of brutal harassment and dowry deaths continued to rise, another Act was passed in 1986, relating specifically to the offence of dowry death.

Water Scarcity: India’s Silent Crisis

As Cape Town inches towards ‘Zero Hour’ set for July 15, 2018, the real threat of water scarcity is finally hitting millions of people worldwide. For on that day, the South African city's 3.78 million citizens -- rich and poor, young and old, men and women -- will be forced to queue up with their jerry cans at public outlets for their quota of 25 litres of water per day.

Rohingya Crisis May Be Genocide, UN Officials Say

In the wake of persistent violence against the Rohingya community, UN officials have expressed growing fears that genocide is being incited and committed in Myanmar.

Greening India for a Sustainable Tomorrow

Actions taken today in the pursuit of environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive growth path in India stand to benefit more than 17 percent of the world’s population. A sustainable future for India carries an impact for the subcontinent and the entire world.

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