This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
UN chief slams ‘immoral’ profiteering amid global energy crisis
As war continues to devastate Ukraine and its people, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said that it is “immoral” that major oil and gas companies are reporting record profits from skyrocketing energy prices.
Mr. Guterres was speaking at a briefing of the Global Crisis Response Group (GCRG) on Food, Energy and Finance, set up by the UN chief after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine:
“It is immoral for oil and gas companies to be making record profits from this energy crisis on the backs of the poorest people and communities and at a massive cost to the climate. The combined profits of the largest energy companies in the first quarter of this year are close to $100 billion. I urge all governments to tax these excessive profits and use the funds to support the most vulnerable people through these difficult times.”
The Global Crisis Response Group called on governments to find effective funding for energy solutions, such as cash transfers and rebates to protect vulnerable communities from rising energy prices.
Other measures including windfall taxes on the largest oil and gas companies should be accompanied by investment in more cost-effective renewable forms of energy, the Response Group’s briefing said.
Healthy life expectancy in Africa grows by nearly 10 years
Healthy life expectancy among Africans living in mainly high and upper middle-income countries on the continent has increased by almost 10 years, the UN health agency, WHO, said on Thursday.
The World Health Organization said that African life expectancy has increased to 56 years, compared with 46 at the turn of the century.
Although this is still well below the global average of 64, outside the African continent, healthy life expectancy increased by only five years.
WHO said that Africans have benefited from better access to essential health services – up from 24 per cent in 2000 to 46 per cent in 2019 – along with gains in reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health.
There’s also been considerable progress made against infectious diseases, in particular the rapid scale-up of HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria control measures from 2005.
Ukraine: Guterres calls for fact-finding mission after deadly prison attack
Back to the Ukraine conflict now, and the UN Secretary-General has said that he intends to set up a fact-finding mission to investigate the deadly shelling of a prison in the east of the country.
António Guterres told journalists on Wednesday evening that Russian and Ukrainian officials had requested a probe into the deaths.
It comes after an attack on a prison in the non-government controlled east Ukrainian town of Olenivka, on 29 July.
Dozens of Ukraine soldiers reportedly died in the strike.
Both parties to the conflict have denied responsibility for the strike on the prison.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.