Pacific 

UN experts decry Iran’s reported plan to execute Iranian-Swedish academic

Javaid Rehman, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said in a statement they were alarmed by the reports that Mr. Djalali had been transferred to solitary confinement in preparation for his execution.  “We are horrified by the reports that Mr. Djalali is soon to be executed by the Islamic Republic of Iran. His torture, arbitrary detention, death sentence and now reported imminent execution are unconscionable acts that should be condemned by…

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Pacific 

UN experts decry Iran’s reported plan to execute Iranian-Swedish academic

Javaid Rehman, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said in a statement they were alarmed by the reports that Mr. Djalali had been transferred to solitary confinement in preparation for his execution.  “We are horrified by the reports that Mr. Djalali is soon to be executed by the Islamic Republic of Iran. His torture, arbitrary detention, death sentence and now reported imminent execution are unconscionable acts that should be condemned by…

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Pacific 

UN experts decry Iran’s reported plan to execute Iranian-Swedish academic

Javaid Rehman, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said in a statement they were alarmed by the reports that Mr. Djalali had been transferred to solitary confinement in preparation for his execution.  “We are horrified by the reports that Mr. Djalali is soon to be executed by the Islamic Republic of Iran. His torture, arbitrary detention, death sentence and now reported imminent execution are unconscionable acts that should be condemned by…

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Pacific 

Afghanistan: UN’s Grandi and Bachelet put plea for lasting ceasefire top of their wishlist

Speaking at the Afghanistan 2020 Conference, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, both listed changes that would improve the lot of ordinary Afghans and prospects for rebuilding the war-torn country.   Six asks OHCHR chief Ms. Bachelet said she had six “asks” for the people of Afghanistan, beginning with an immediate commitment to protect civilians from harm.    “This can save thousands of families from suffering and lessen recriminations and bolster confidence and trust among negotiators. Parties should look at, and act on, ways…

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Pacific 

Afghanistan: UN chief underscores need to end violence following deadly rocket attacks

The rockets reportedly were fired from vehicles, hitting several densely populated areas.  The ISIL affiliate in the country has claimed responsibility, according to media reports which cited intelligence sources. Deeply shocking and deplorable that civilians should be subjected to such indiscriminate attacks. Those responsible must face justice. Our thoughts are with the bereaved and wishing recovery to all those inured. #Afghanistan https://t.co/uBltaBkQVH — UNAMA News (@UNAMAnews) November 21, 2020 UN chief António Guterres has expressed his deepest sympathies to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to the injured, his Spokesperson…

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Pacific 

Backed by space technology, Asia-Pacific countries power sustainable development

Released on Wednesday, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) report Geospatial Practices for Sustainable Development showcases examples from the region’s countries employing applications of space technology to advance sustainable development.   “Night-light” satellite images monitoring the impact of lockdowns, “heatmaps” to chart out communities vulnerable to the pandemic and its socio-economic consequences, real-time situational analysis, and dashboards integrating a wide gamut of critical information to support decisions are some of the practices cited.  The examples, according to the report, show how space applications and geospatial data have played…

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Pacific 

New Asian trade bloc could play key role in driving investment 

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement (RCEP) was signed on Sunday by 15 countries including China, Japan, Australia, Vietnam and South Korea, jointly covering a total population of more than 2.3 billion people – five times the size of the European Union.  Framework for the future  “The agreement could help revive post-COVID economic growth, boost intra-regional trade and investment links at a time of global trade tensions, and provide a framework for further regional cooperation”, the report said.  Asia is already a major destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) and it has fared…

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Pacific 

UN human rights experts denounce ‘concerted attempt’ to erode civic space in Cambodia

In a statement on Monday, Mary Lawlor, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, said she was “alarmed” by credible reports that at least 21 human rights defenders have been subjected to threats, arbitrary arrests and detentions in the past three months.  “I have reviewed publicly available footage where excessive force has been used by the security forces to prohibit human rights defenders, many of them women, from exercising their rights to peaceful assembly. Promotion and protection of human rights through peaceful means is not a crime,” she…

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Pacific 

‘Super typhoon’ Goni: UN, partners seek $45 million in immediate relief for affected populations

Response efforts have been underway since the Typhoon, known locally as Rolly, struck the archipelagic nation on 1 November, leaving widespread devastation in its wake.   Fully funded, the six-month response will support some 260,000 disaster-affected people, many of whom were already living in poverty prior to the disaster.   Launching the appeal, Gustavo Gonzalez, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines, said that with support from donors, the humanitarian community is ready to translate “solidarity into concrete support” through a coordinated response, combining emergency relief and early recovery.  “The UN…

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Pacific 

Myanmar’s farmers battle climate and health uncertainty

U Cho, a sixty-one-year-old farmer from the Mandalay region, in central Myanmar, has had to overcome severe difficulties all of his life. At the age of five, he contracted polio, which left him paralyzed in his left leg and put paid to his plans of becoming a monk after completing his primary education. “With no hope of joining public service I did not think I would make it in life,” he says.  Instead, like so many others in Myanmar, U Cho became a farmer: seven out of ten people in…

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