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Asia Pacific

India’s LGBTQIA+ community notches legal wins but still faces societal hurdles to acceptance, equal rights

UNAIDS, the main advocate for coordinated global action on the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and the UN Development Progarmme (UNDP) offices in India have been important partners in this effort.  On this International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), celebrated annually…

UN rights office urges Sri Lanka to reveal fate of the disappeared

The call accompanies the launch of a key report by OHCHR, highlighting also the need for the Government to acknowledge the involvement of State security forces and to issue a public apology. From the 1970s to 2009, Sri Lanka witnessed…

UN teams dispatch aid as deadly flash floods hit northern Afghanistan

Flash floods in the area have reportedly killed at least 300 people, including 51 children, with many more injured, with these figures expected to increase as additional reports come in, according to UN agencies. UN chief António Guterres expressed his…

Japan: Safeguarding a mother tongue and mother nature

Even though both Nami and Tomoyuki were born on Okinoerabu Island (currently home to only 12,000 inhabitants), neither learned to speak Shimamuni – a local variety of the Kunigami language – fluently as children. Kunigami was added to UNESCO’s Atlas…

WMO report: Asia hit hardest by climate change and extreme weather

Following close on the heels of the study of climate change in Europe, published by WMO on Monday, the State of the Climate in Asia 2023 report highlighted the accelerating rate of climate change across several indicators such as surface temperature, glacier…

Hungry for data: Tackling food insecurity in rural Indonesia

“I was not aware that vegetables were that important or how to grow them,” said the 25-year-old farmer from Idas in West Kalimantan on the island of Borneo. “Now I do.” She, along with 50 of her neighbours in this…

Myanmar: Rohingyas in firing line as Rakhine conflict intensifies

Rakhine was the site of a brutal crackdown on the Rohingyas by the military in 2017, leading to the killing of some 10,000 men, women and newborns and the exodus of nearly 750,000 community members, many of whom continue to…

Women in Afghanistan: The future ‘depends on them’

Released by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) on Wednesday, Listening to Women Entrepreneurs in Afghanistan, Their Struggle and Resilience, analyzes data collected over the last three years, providing one of the most detailed views into the changing circumstances of women…

General Assembly debates Russia’s veto of DPR Korea sanctions panel

This is the third time this year that the world body has met to examine veto use among the Security Council’s permanent members – China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and United States – including on the situation in Gaza regarding…

Myanmar: Middle class ‘disappearing’ amid uptick in brutal fighting

In a new report published on Thursday UNDP said that the middle class has shrunk by half, compared with before the 2021 military coup, and that three quarters of the country’s population is either living in poverty or “perilously close”…