Asia-Pacific

Cambodia no Longer Compliant with the Global Deal

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven made a special effort to reach this global agreement between countries, unions and businesses. The bearing idea is that by initiating dialogue in society, salaries can be raised, business profits improved and political stability strengthened.

Europe, New Border of Africa’s ‘Great Desert’ – The Sahara

With the highest temperatures on record and unprecedented heat waves hitting Europe this year, Africa’s ‘Great Desert’, the Sahara, is set continue its relentless march on the Southern European countries until it occupies more than 30 per cent of Spain just three decades from now.

Small Entrepreneurs Emerge as Backbone of Bangladesh’s Rural Economy

She was born in the early 1950’s to an ultra-poor family in Kundihar, a remote village of Banaripara of Barisal division in Bangladesh. She was a beautiful baby and her father named her ‘Shahndah Rani’ which means ‘Queen of Evenings’. But in reality her life was far from that of a queen.

Towards a Resource Efficient and Pollution Free Asia-Pacific

Senior government officials from across Asia and the Pacific will meet in Bangkok this week for the first-ever Asia-Pacific Ministerial Summit on the Environment. The high-level meeting is co-convened by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) and UN Environment and is a unique opportunity for the region’s environment leaders to discuss how they can work together towards a resource efficient and pollution-free Asia-Pacific.

More Than 18,000 Rohingya Flee as Violence Renews

A surge in deadly violence in Myanmar has forced over 18,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee in less than one week, a migration agency said.

Muzzling the Media: Cambodia

You have to pay six million dollars in tax! That was the message given to the Cambodian Daily the same week that Prime Minister Hun Sen publicly attacked the newspaper.

Global Warming Puts Asia’s Vital Yields at High Risk

While mainstream media have been widely reporting on the dramatic consequences of tropical storm Harvey in the United States, which has been characterised as the fiercest hurricane to hit this country in over a decade, global warming is expected to have a significant impact on “future yields of everything from rice to fish, particularly in countries situated closer to the equator,” the United Nations warned.

Fighting Oppression in Iran, One App at a Time

United For Iran, a non profit group based in Berkeley, recently rolled out its latest mobile app Michka to open discussions about child sexual abuse in Iran, where treading into the topic is deemed as taboo.

Buffalo Revive Local Economy in Remote Bay of Bengal Islands

Visitors might be confused after arriving in Char Chatkimarai, a tiny island of eight square miles situated in the extreme south of Bangladesh close to the Bay of Bengal. Many might think they have just landed in an amazing part of a big national park of buffalo.

South Asia Faces Fury of Floods

Aid agencies warn of a serious unfolding humanitarian crisis as floodwaters continue to inundate new areas of three South Asian countries, forcing millions of people to flee their homes for shelters.

Women Slowly Break Barriers in Bangladesh

When one thinks of Bangladesh, its political leadership naturally comes to mind as the leaders of the country’s major parties are women, including the Prime Minister, the Opposition Leader and the Speaker of the National Parliament.

Women Build Rural Infrastructure in Bangladesh

Breaking all the social barriers and taboos, poor women in Bangladesh are now engaged in rural development works across the country as labourers.

One Earth: Why the World Needs Indigenous Communities to Steward Their Lands

“Showing them a picture-book crow, I intone ‘kaak’ in Bengali, the State language. While others repeat in chorus, the tribal Santhali first-graders respond with a blank look. They know the crow only as ‘koyo’. They’ll happily roll out glass marbles to count but ask them how many they counted, they remain silent because in their mother tongue, one is mit, two is bariah - very different sounding from the Bengali ek and du.”

Collectively Managing South Asia’s Stressed Water Resources

Experts and policymakers here say regional cooperation is a must to resolve long-standing water problems in South Asian countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India and Nepal, and to harness the full value of water.

Water Is Precious, Fragile and Dangerous – It Can Sustain or Destroy

Water is precious, fragile, and dangerous. It can sustain or destroy.

Has Disability Risen among the Elderly?

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 (or RPD Act) is laudable in its intent and procedural detail, but mostly silent on disabilities among the elderly. Indeed, for this reason alone, it is arguable that its overarching goal—“The appropriate Government shall ensure that the persons with disabilities enjoy the right to equality, life with dignity and respect for his or her integrity equally with others” —is mere rhetoric, if not a pipe dream.

Last Mile Connectivity to Bangladesh’s Impoverished North

Life for Bangladesh’s rural people, particularly in its remote north, is still miserable. Seasonal flooding, river erosion, and the low quality of rural infrastructure and lack of connectivity have made things harder for poor northerners.

Value of Water Is on the Rise

In the wake of recent water-related disasters in Bangladesh, including water-logging and floods that displaced thousands of families, a high-level consultation in the capital Dhaka on valuing water will look at ways to optimize water use and solutions to water-related problems facing South Asia.

Sinking Island Seeks Seat in Security Council

The Maldives, one of the world’s low-lying, small island developing states (SIDS) -- threatened with extinction because of a sea-level rise-- is shoring up its coastal defences in anticipation of the impending calamity.

Parliamentarians Study Nexus of Youth, Refugees and Development

Held for the first time in the Arab world, an annual meeting of Asian and Arab Parliamentarians examined how regional conflicts hinder the development of effective policies to achieve sustainable development, particularly as they generate large numbers of refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants.

In the New World Order, Asia Is Rising, Says Pakistan’s UN Envoy

When Maleeha Lodhi arrived at the United Nations in 2015 as Pakistan’s ambassador, she brought with her a broad background in academia, journalism and diplomacy: a Ph.D. in political science from the London School of Economics, where she later taught political sociology; the first woman to edit major newspapers in Pakistan; ambassador to the United States twice and once as Pakistan’s high commissioner in London.

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