This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Top UN official in Iraq calls for calm following Basra fatalities
Ján Kubiš, UN Special Representative for Iraq, has expressed grave concern, following days of violent demonstrations in Basra over dwindling public services in the southern city.
In a statement on Wednesday, Mr. Kubiš urged the Iraqi authorities to avoid using lethal force against protestors, protect the people of Basra and hold accountable those responsible for the violence.
He urged calm and called for the newly-elected representatives to carry out the speedy formation of a new “national, patriotic and pro-reform” Iraqi Government to tackle persistent problems, such as shortages of clean water and electricity.
Burundi Government involved in summary executions: UN investigators
Senior members of the Burundi Government continue to be responsible for summary execution and hate speech, some of which constitutes crimes against humanity.
These are among the findings of a UN-appointed Commission of Inquiry, in its second report on the worsening situation in the country.
Françoise Hampson, a member of the Commission, says that the form of executions has changed, and that bodies are being hidden, making it harder to track the full extent of deadly rights abuses:
“There are more people who disappearing than were disappearing before. But we don’t know whether they’re ending up dead. So, we can’t say that summary executions are diminishing, we can say that there are fewer bodies found on the basis of which you can conclude that someone is dead.”
A quarter of the world’s adults are inactive
A quarter of the global adult population is not sufficiently active, according to a new World Health Organization (WHO) report.
Risks related to inactivity include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia and some cancers.
The study shows that as countries develop, their citizens become less active: the rate of inactivity rises to over a third of the population in high income nations.
Regina Guthold is one of the report’s authors. She says that, as they develop, countries need to help people get fitter:
“People tend to move from rural areas, where they may be used to work as farmers, and they find themselves doing a job in an industry where they have very sedentary work, so the jobs get less active so that means countries need to create spaces for people to be more active during leisure time and also for transport.”
The study is the first to estimate global physical activity trends over a long period of time.
Conor Lennon, UN News.