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World News in Brief: recovery efforts in Ukraine, human rights in Sudan and WHO report

“Our team has mobilized and is currently implementing more than $1 billion in recovery and development initiatives across the country,” UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Wednesday.

The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine, Denise Brown, this week visited some of our recovery initiatives in Invakiv, a town in the Kyiv region.

There, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) are reconstructing and repairing homes, primary schools, and water systems, that were all destroyed at the start of the Russian invasion last February.

“Our team is also supporting a centre where residents can access a wide range of essential services, including birth certificates,” Mr. Dujarric said, adding that, the work is aligned with the aspirations of the war-affected communities.

Sudan: UN rights council establishes fact-finding mission

The UN’s top human rights body established an Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Sudan, in response to the ongoing war between the national army and paramilitary forces. 

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Adopting a resolution on Wednesday, the UN Human Rights Council decided that the Mission will consist of three experts in international human rights law and international humanitarian law who will serve for an initial period of one year. They will be appointed by the Council President as soon as possible. 

Their mandate will include investigating and establishing the facts, circumstances and root causes of all alleged human rights violations and abuses, and violations of international law, in the context of the conflict, which erupted on 15 April. 

The experts will collect, consolidate and analyse evidence of violations and abuses, including against women and children. Where possible, they will identify those responsible, with a view to ensuring they are held accountable. 

The resolution was presented by the United Kingdom, and on behalf of Germany, Norway and the United States. 

Niger: Expulsion of top UN official to impede aid delivery

The decision to order the expulsion of the top UN official in Niger will have adverse effects on vital work in the country, where millions are in need of humanitarian assistance.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres deeply regretted that on Tuesday authorities ordered UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Louise Aubin to leave Niger within 72 hours, his Spokesperson said in a statement.

He underlined that the order to leave the country is contrary to the legal framework applicable to the United Nations, including with respect to obligations under the UN Charter and the privileges and immunities accorded to the Organization.

“The decision to order the departure of the Resident Coordinator hampers the ability of the Organization to effectively carry out its mandates and disrupts the essential work we do for the people of Niger, where 4.3 million are in need of humanitarian assistance, mostly women and children,” the statement said.

It added that Ms. Aubin has been exemplary in leading the UN system in Niger to work impartially and tirelessly to deliver humanitarian and development assistance, in accordance with the National Development Plan.

In late July, military leaders in the West African country seized power from the democratically-elected President, Mohamed Bazoum, and suspended the Constitution.

WHO report reveals shift towards an ageing Europe

A new report from the UN World Health Organization (WHO) warns that by 2024, the number of people aged 65 and over in Europe will surpass those under 15, ushering in a host of social, economic, and health challenges.  

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The report, titled Promoting physical activity and healthy diets for healthy ageing in the WHO European Region highlights the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle throughout one’s life to prevent noncommunicable diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia and other ailments. 

“A less active and mostly sedentary life with a monotonous and even dull routine every day – that’s an unfair but very common perception of life after 65,” said Kremlin Wickramasinghe, WHO Europe Regional Adviser on Nutrition.

The report offers a roadmap for navigating this demographic shift, emphasizing the crucial role of physical activity and diet quality in maintaining health.

“Our report highlights why policy-makers, businesses and communities in our Region should create more opportunities and make better investments to make healthy choices easier, increasing healthy life expectancy for all of us.,” Dr. Wickramasinghe added.

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