Pacific 

More ‘can and must be done’ to eradicate caste-based discrimination in Nepal

“It is distressing that caste-based prejudices remain deeply entrenched in our world in the 21st century, and I am filled with sadness for these two young people who held high hopes of building a life together despite the obstacles presented by their accident of birth” said High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, referring to the couple at the centre of the tragedy. Last Saturday, a 21-year-old man from the ‘untouchable’ Dalit caste, known as Nawaraj BK, and his friends, traveled some 32 km from Jajarkot district, to Western Rukum district,…

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Pacific 

Yemen aid lifeline near ‘breaking point’: UN food agency

The appeal for a fresh cash injection comes after more than five years of fighting in the Arabian peninsula country, between the Government of Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, now based in the south, and the mainly Houthi-led opposition, which occupies the capital, Sana’a, in the north. Yemen was already one of the poorest countries in the world before violence escalated in March 2015, and today millions of people lack access to sufficient food, fuel and medicine, almost all of which is imported. According to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, around…

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Pacific 

UN welcomes three-day ceasefire announcement by Afghan government and Taliban during Eid al-Fitr

Hours before the three-day festival of Eid al-Fitr was due to begin, Taliban militants made the unexpected declaration that they would attack only if their positions were hit, leading President Ashraf Ghani to welcome the move shortly afterwards, and release a statement saying security and defence forces would comply. Reason to hope! A welcomed move by Taliban. Well responded by Afghan government. Echos also UN Secretary General Guterres’ call for ceasefire to focus on the new enemy, COVID virus. Let wisdom and compassion of EID convince all to make this…

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Cyclone Amphan’s trail of destruction in Bangladesh and India

“It is believed that around 10 million people in Bangladesh are impacted by the cyclone, with half a million families potentially having lost their homes”, UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told reporters during a regular virtual briefing on Thursday, from New York. The cyclone, which lashed coastal areas with brutal winds and rain, left at least 84 people across India and Bangladesh dead, according to news reports. “Our humanitarian colleagues tell us that the storm has damaged houses and crops in Bangladesh”, he continued. “Power has been cut off to cities…

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Pacific 

Asia-Pacific nations commit the whole region to ‘defeat’ COVID-19

In a resolution adopted on Thursday, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) declared “profound solidarity” with the countries and people affected by the disease and resolved “to pursue coordinated and decisive actions, to contain, mitigate and defeat the pandemic through reinforced regional and global cooperation.” “[The Commission] reiterates the importance of multilateralism and international cooperation, and encourages action by all members … to promote measures that may reinforce global solidarity in responding to the outbreak of COVID-19”, read the resolution, which was tabled by…

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Pacific 

FROM THE FIELD: Nature ‘strongest ally’ to building sustainable planet

Indigenous communities in Malaysia have long been the guardians of the natural environment in the southeast Asian country. , by Sarawak Biodiversity Centre Tan Sri Datuk Amar Wilson Baya Dandot told UNDP how indigenous communities in Malaysia can share their traditional knowledge of how to use local plants to provide food, medicine and sustain thriving local economies whilst protecting the natural environment.   The southeast Asian nation is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world and 20-05-2020-UNDP-Malaysia.jpghome to a number of indigenous peoples and communities who over millennia…

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Africa US 

Murdered African American, Ahmaud Arbery was Victim of Police Assault in 2017

Latest video evidence have revealed that a recently murdered African American male, Ahmaud Arbery was a victim of Police assault back in 2017. According to a report by Complex magazine, new footage obtained through a public records request show a police officer attempt to taser Ahmaud Arbery back in 2017 as he rapped in his car. Arbery was chased and killed by two white men in March while jogging through a residential neighborhood in Georgia. The footage shows that Arbery was questioned by police officers as he sat in his…

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Pacific 

Philippines typhoon recovery, complicated by coronavirus concerns

After making landfall on the eastern island of Samar, the eye of the Category 3 typhoon, known locally as Ambo, continued with maximum sustained winds of 125 km/h, with gusts of up to 165 km/h, to the island of Masbate before wreaking havoc northwest towards mainland Luzon – where some 60 million people are under extended COVID-19 quarantine.  As Typhoon #AmboPH (intl #Vongfong) makes landfall in the country, IOM Philippines team is on ground to assess the damage in affected areas across the provinces of Albay and Sorsogon in the…

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Pacific 

Millions of migrants across Russia, Central Asia, ‘teetering on the brink’, as UN launches urgent appeal

The appeal aims to help thousands who are stranded in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.  It was launched virtually by more than 100 representatives from donors, embassies, migration experts and Governments, together with senior IOM staff in Vienna, Moscow, Nur Sultan and other regional capitals. Dramatic transformation The advance of the new coronavirus is dramatically transforming the social and economic face of a region, that accounts for one-sixth of the world’s surface, and recovery will take years. Remittance flows – the lifeblood of several regional economies…

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Pacific 

Deadly gas leak in India, grim wake-up call for global chemical industry: UN rights expert

Twelve people reportedly died and more than 1,000 fell sick after styrene leaked from the LG Chem plant near Visakhapatnam, in Andhra Pradesh state, on 7 May. Styrene is used to make plastics, but it can also cause cancer and neurological damage. It can also harm reproduction and its impacts may go unnoticed for years after exposure. “The latest disaster has rightly drawn parallels to the toxic gas leak that killed thousands in Bhopal, India, in 1984”, said Baskut Tuncak, Special Rapporteur on hazardous substances and wastes. ‘Rampant consumption’ “It…

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