This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
‘Dramatic resurgence’ of measles threatens Europe
Europe has lost ground on eliminating measles, the European Regional Verification Commission for Measles and Rubella Elimination, or RVC, warned on Thursday.
According to the RVC, at the end of 2018, 35 countries had achieved, or sustained measles elimination, as compared to 37 for 2017.
Albania, Czech Republic, Greece and the United Kingdom lost their measles elimination status for the first time since the verification process began in 2012.
However, Austria and Switzerland reached elimination status for at least the past 36 months.
“If high immunization coverage is not achieved and sustained in every community, both children and adults will suffer unnecessarily and some will tragically die,” said RVC Chair Günter Pfaff.
From the epicenter of nuclear explosions
Each year on 29 August, the UN celebrates the International Day against Nuclear Tests.
This year, it coincided with the 50th anniversary of the first atomic bomb test at the Semipalatinsk test site in Kazakhstan, where the first “nuclear mushroom” rose exactly 50 years ago today.
Although Kazakhstani scientists have been disinfecting the territory for almost 30 years, radiation levels there are still above normal, and children with gene mutations are born in the surrounding areas.
The fight against the proliferation of atomic weapons is a priority for Kazakhstan, a country that has experienced the effects of nuclear tests and voluntarily abandoned its deadly nuclear arsenal.
The has country acceded to both the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty.
Colombia guarantees equal recognition to persons with disabilities
And in Colombia, a UN expert has welcomed the country’s new law guaranteeing the exercise of legal capacity by persons with disabilities.
Describing it as “a huge step”, Catalina Devandas, the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, said the “newly adopted law eliminates all forms of guardianship in Colombia, while also establishing support mechanisms to fully enjoy this fundamental right”.
The Colombian initiative joins similar reform processes taking place in Peru and Costa Rica, positioning Latin America’s countries as global leaders in the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Ms. Devandas also called on other States around the world to follow the Colombian example and undertake similar reforms, eliminating the legal barriers that restrict the legal capacity of persons with disabilities.
Liz Scaffidi, UN News.