Global plan promotes exercise in move to fight disease
With physical inactivity costing countries a staggering $54 billion in direct health care, people everywhere are being encouraged to take a step in a healthier direction.
The appeal comes from the World Health Organization (WHO) which on Monday launched a global action plan to reduce sedentary behaviour as a means to prevent and treat heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other non-communicable diseases.
NCDs, as they are known, are responsible for more than 70 per cent of all deaths globally.
WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus pointed out that while being active is critical for health, “this is becoming more and more of a challenge, largely because our cities and communities aren’t designed in the right ways.”
The action plan contains recommendations to promote more active societies, for example by improving environments so that people are encouraged to walk more, or to play more sports.
The goal is to reduce physical inactivity in adults and young people by 15 per cent over the next 12 years.
UN agency ready to play role in North Korea nuclear verification
The global nuclear energy watchdog, IAEA, said it remains ready to play “an essential role” in verifying North Korea’s nuclear programme.
That’s according to Yukiya Amano, the agency’s Director General, speaking to its Board of Governors in Vienna on Monday.
Last September, the IAEA established a team in its Department of Safeguards to enhance its ability to monitor the country’s nuclear programme.
At the time, North Korea had launched its sixth and largest nuclear test since 2006.
Last month, the country announced it had dismantled and closed its nuclear test site at Punggye-ri, a move that was welcomed by the UN Secretary-General.
This followed an historic summit held in April between leader Kim Jong Un and his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, during which they signed a declaration covering several issues, including g the goal of realizing the “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula.
The North Korean leader and United States President Donald Trump are due to hold a summit in Singapore next week: another first.
UN expert chides Trump administration’s “systematic assault” on welfare
In more news about the United States:
The principal strategy for dealing with extreme poverty in the USA is to criminalise and stigmatise those who need assistance.
That’s the stark assessment of UN independent expert Philip Alston who will present his latest report to the Human Rights Council later this month.
It’s based on his fact-finding visit to the US in December, where he visited California, Alabama, Georgia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Mr. Alston said the Trump Administration has brought in “massive” tax breaks for corporations and the very wealthy, while at the same time orchestrating what he called “a systematic assault on the welfare system.”
For Mr. Alston, who is the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, it’s a strategy that seems driven primarily by contempt, and sometimes even by hatred for the poor, along with a ‘winner takes all’ mentality.
He said: “Locking up the poor precisely because they are poor, greatly exaggerating the amount of fraud in the system, shaming those who need assistance, and devising ever more obstacles to prevent people from getting needed benefits, is not a strategy to reduce or eliminate poverty.”
Mr Alston added that with the US now having the highest income inequality in the Western world, the highest incarceration rate globally and one of the lowest election turnout rates among developed nations, “it is no coincidence that high inequality coincides with the overt and covert disenfranchisement of millions and millions of American voters.”
Dianne Penn, UN News.