By Neena Bhandari
Ha Noi/Hoi An, Viet Nam (IDN) – Pham Thi Kim Viet is up before the crack of dawn. The rice on the cooker is beginning to boil as she tosses freshly chopped vegetables and fish in a wok. She then hurries to wake her two daughters, 12 and four-years-old. At 7 a.m., dressed in laundered uniforms, she takes them to school on her trusted old scooter and proceeds to Hoi An, 30 km from her home in the mountains of Dai Loc district in central Vietnam, to report for work as a freelance tour guide.
By Neena Bhandari
SIEM REAP/BATTAMBANG, Cambodia (IDN) - The once conflict ridden, impoverished country of Cambodia has made significant strides towards stability and progress, but it is still facing several socio-economic development challenges.
In 2016, it became a lower middle-income country after recording an annual average economic growth of seven percent over the past decade. “The country’s economy has trebled and the number of people living in poverty has halved in the last 15 years. We have to set development issues in the context of those successes,” says Nick Beresford, United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Cambodia Country Director.
By Kalinga Seneviratne
BANGKOK (IDN) - Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has signaled his intention to push harder for the adoption of a binding regional treaty to protect the human rights of migrant workers during his chairmanship of ASEAN (Association of South east Asian Nations) this year.
Though he is strongly supported by Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo, yet human rights advocates in the region fear that ASEAN’s “consensus” based decision making process may hinder these attempts because Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand may not agree to a binding treaty to protect migrant workers in their countries.
By J Nastranis
NEW YORK (IDN) – The United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) has launched a publication series – 'South-South In Action' – purported to highlight the vast reservoir of developing country experiences and how these are enhancing South-South cooperation.
The first volume of the series, jointly published by the Royal Thai Government and the UNOSSC was presented at the UN headquarters in New York on January 12, one day before the Southeast Asian country handed the annual Chair of the Group of 77 (G77) and China over to Ecuador.
By Ramesh Jaura and Katsuhiro Asagiri
BERLIN | TOKYO (IDN) – "My tenure in India was an awakening to me," says Hideaki Domichi who was Japan's Ambassador to that huge country with a population of more than 1.2 billion, which is "very poor" but also has "very rich people who are trading globally".
Having spent some four decades with Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and as a diplomat in the U.S., Egypt, Iran, Indonesia and India, Mr Domichi is not only immune to any "cultural shocks", as he said, but also capable of shedding prejudices and willing to open up to new ideas and perceptions.
By Fumiyasu Akegawa
This advertorial is part of IDN’s media project jointly with Global Cooperation Council and DEVNET Japan.
TOKYO - After ensuring cooperation from associated government ministries in Japan and United Nations organizations such as the UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as well as the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), DEVNET Japan is in the process of launching agricultural cooperatives in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar – the mainland Southeast Asian countries, historically known as Indochina.
By Lim Kooi Fong
BANGKOK (IDN) - One of the most enduring images of the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej is that he is almost always seen with a camera around his neck or in his hand during his time visiting regions within Thailand, checking on projects, which he personally supported and followed up.For over 70 years of his reign,
Thailand’s much loved monarch kept a promise - the promise that he would reign with righteousness for the benefit and happiness of the Siamese people. JAPANESE
Viewpoint by Naomi Yoshimura*
TOKYO (IDN) – While average life expectancy in Japan is the longest in the world, health expectancy, in terms of the period a person lives a healthy life without being constrained to receive care, is lagging far behind.
The Japanese people suffer the longest period of illness on average – ten years as compared to six to eight years in other developed countries. Japan also has the largest number of people in the world, who are 60-year old or even older. JAPANESE
By Toshiaki Kitazato*
KUMAMOTO, Japan (IDN) – In April this year, two major earthquakes struck Kumamoto on the island of Kyushu, southern Japan, where I live and work as a lawyer.
I was resting in my house when a magnitude 6.2 earthquake with an epicentre at a depth of around 11 km struck at 21:26 on April 14. Less than two days later, this was followed by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake at 1:26.
In fear of my life, I spent three nights in a car outside the house with my family. Luckily enough, all of us were safe and my house only received minor damage, while the walls surrounding my house collapsed. JAPANESE
By Rakesh Jayawardene
NEW DELHI (IDN) - Despite the widely reported phenomenal growth in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the Asia-Pacific region, a new study by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), has found that broadband capabilities and access are highly concentrated in East and North-East Asia. GERMAN | HINDI | JAPANESE | SPANISH