Pacific 

UN atomic energy agency to work with Japan on Fukushima water disposal

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said that Japan’s solution was both “technically feasible and in line with international practice” – and that the agency was also ready “to provide technical support in monitoring and reviewing the plan’s safe and transparent implementation”. ‘Unique and complex case’ Controlled water discharges into the sea are routine practice for operating nuclear power plants in the world after safety and environmental impact assessments, the IAEA chief explained. “Today’s decision by the Government of Japan is a milestone that will help pave the way for continued progress…

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Pacific 

UN and partners announce Afghan peace summit will convene in Turkey this month

The talks are due to run through 4 May, known officially as the Istanbul Conference on the Afghan Peace Process, and the co-conveners said they were committed to supporting a “sovereign, independent and unified Afghanistan”. ‘Accelerate’ peace efforts The “overriding objective” is to “accelerate the ongoing intra-Afghan negotiations” which have been taking place since early this year in the Qatari capital, Doha – the outcome of an agreement between the Taliban and the United States in February last year. In a tweet, the UN mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, described the conference as an…

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Pacific 

Review ‘disproportionate and unwarranted’ measures, rights experts urge Cambodia

The new law, promulgated on 11 March, could subject violators to prison for up to 20 years and fine them up to 20 million riels ($5,000). It also grants the Government power to ban or restrict any gathering or demonstration, according to a news release issued by the rights experts. “We are concerned that the administrative and penal measures, including excessive prison sentences and fines provided in the law, appear to be disproportionate and unwarranted. All measures taken to fight the pandemic, including possible punishments, should be necessary and proportionate and…

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Pacific 

Myanmar heading towards a ‘full-blown conflict’, UN human rights chief warns

“Statements of condemnation, and limited targeted sanctions, are clearly not enough. States with influence need to urgently apply concerted pressure on the military in Myanmar to halt the commission of grave human rights violations and possible crimes against humanity”, Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said. Her appeal came in the wake of yet another weekend of “coordinated bloodshed” in Myanmar, including the reported killing of at least 82 people in Bago, where, according to credible reports, the country’s military, Tatmadaw, opened fire with rocket-propelled grenades, fragmentation grenades…

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Pacific 

Myanmar violence ‘must cease immediately’: UN agencies

The UN in Myanmar is following events in Bago with reports of heavy artillery being used against civilians and medical treatment being denied to those injured. The violence must cease immediately. We call on the security forces to allow medical teams to treat the wounded. pic.twitter.com/VyO7gRpWPO — United Nations in Myanmar (@UNinMyanmar) April 10, 2021 More than 80 people lost their lives on Friday as security forces reportedly used heavy weapons against protesters in the town of Bago, located about 90 kilometres (56 miles) northeast of the commercial capital Yangon, according…

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Pacific 

The more you learn, the more you earn: education and poverty alleviation in Thailand

Chaisri Taya, a teacher in the mountainous north-west province of Mae Hong Son, is a testament to the power of education. Born stateless, he completed a bachelor’s degree and obtained Thai citizenship. He has since become a role model in his community, sharing his experience with children and youth in a language they can relate to. UNESCO/Pornpilin Smithveja Chaisri Taya is teaching children from disadvantaged communities in the village of Ban Nai Soi, northern Thailand, using tools from UNESCO’s Learning Coin initiative For children in the village of Ban Nai…

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Pacific 

Clashes in Myanmar displace thousands, UN humanitarian office reports

In a humanitarian update, issued on Tuesday, the Office also noted unconfirmed reports of several thousand people fleeing the hostilities in recent days in the Kayin and Bago regions, in central Myanmar, near Yangon. A medical clinic is also reported to have been damaged in gunfire in a township in Mon state, also in the central part of the country.  An estimated 7,100 civilians are now internally displaced in the two regions due to indiscriminative attacks by the Myanmar Armed Forces (MAF), and the Karen National Union (KNU), as well…

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Pacific 

Timor-Leste: UN agencies support response in wake of deadly floods

According to media reports, at least 21 people died in the country and many more are missing. Large parts of Dili are inundated, with water levels as high as two meters reported in some neighbourhoods.  Torrential rains have caused the worst flooding in recent years in #TimorLeste 🇹🇱, damaging homes, buildings & roads in #Dili & other parts of the country. WFP, together with the @UNTimorLeste team, is committed to doing what we can to support the response. 📷Machel Silveira pic.twitter.com/HFQM9NwSLD — WFP Asia Pacific (@WFPAsiaPacific) April 5, 2021 Severe…

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Pacific 

First Person: The Afghan woman putting her life at risk to rid her home of mines

More than three decades of armed conflict in Afghanistan has left a sorry legacy, with mines, and other explosive remnants of war, contaminating the country. Since 1989, the Mine Action Programme of Afghanistan (MAPA) has been working to clear this dangerous material but, with conflict still ongoing, some 120 civilian mine-relate casualties are recorded every month, and it is considered unlikely that the target of declaring the country free from mines will be reached. Although explosive remnants of war remain on some firing ranges, Bamyan was declared mine-free since 2019,…

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