The UN Development Programme helps China strive for the goal of basic public services for all its 1.3 billion citizens

UN Calling Asia – a weekly magazine programme, in English, that keeps you in touch with UN developments covering Asia and the Pacific.

China is being urged to accelerate provision of basic public services for its more than one billion citizens. That call comes in the 2008 China Human Development Report launched this week by the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

An atmospheric phenomenon known as brown clouds is affecting air quality and agricultural production in the region

Across Asia, a phenomenon known as Atmospheric Brown Clouds is partly responsible for the darkening of cities. They are also affecting air quality and agricultural production. Brown clouds are the result of the burning of fossil fuels and biomass, such as animal waste, and a recent study by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) finds that in some regions of the world, they are also aggravating climate change stemming from greenhouse gas emissions. To find out more about brown clouds, UN Radio's Rosa Rivera spoke to UNEP spokesman Nick Nuttall.

We'll hear from some of the Asian leaders who participated in a General Assembly meeting on the culture of peace

Political and religious leaders from around the world gathered at UN headquarters this month to discuss the culture of peace. The two-day meeting was held at the request of Saudi Arabia whose leader, King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud observed that throughout history, followers of different religions and cultures have waged wars without any sound logical or ideological justification. It is high time, he said, for people to learn from the harsh lessons of the past and concur on the ethics and ideals on which they all believe.

Producer: Dianne Penn

(duration: 14’00″)

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