UN Calling Asia: focus on New Zealand, Cambodia, India and Indonesia

Helen Clark. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

Balanced approach needed to deal with public debt 

A balanced approach is needed to deal with public debt according to a senior UN official and former Prime Minister of New Zealand. Debt is a normal part of a country's finances. Governments borrow to pay for a wide range of services and other needs. Helen Clark, is the current Administrator of the UN Development Programme, UNDP and former premier of New Zealand. When she was in power, the Pacific country had zero debt. Mark Bettancourt met Ms Clark at a recent seminar at the IMF-World Bank Meetings. He began by asking her about the consequences of too much debt.


Cambodian Disabled People's Organisation staff member operates a radio program about history of Cambodia. Photo: UNDP (file)

Radio programme to help people with disabilities in Cambodia

There are around 700,000 people with disabilities in Cambodia who face obstacles on daily basis that prevent them from fully enjoying their equal rights; that's according to the UN. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is now working to improve their conditions through a joint disability programme named the "Disability Rights Initiative Cambodia" (DRIC). Cathrine Hasselberg has more.


Yôhei Sasakawa. WHO/Pierre Albouy

Leprosy still affecting many people in India and Brazil

Eliminating leprosy and the stigma associated with the disease has been the mission of a Japanese philanthropist for many decades. In 2001, Yôhei Sasakawa became the World Health Organization (WHO) Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination. In this capacity, he has travelled to many countries, including recent visits to India and Indonesia to raise awareness about treatment options and fight myths that persist about people who've contracted the disease. Leprosy is a curable infectious disease which affects the skin and nerves. Stephanie Coutrix met with Mr Sasakawa who, speaking through an interpreter, began by explaining where leprosy is still affecting people today although it is considered an eradicated disease at the global level.

Presenter: Dianne Penn
Production Assistant: Ana Carmo
Duration: 10’00″

Filed under UN Calling Asia.
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January 2018
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