News in Brief 13 September 2016 (AM) – Geneva

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Dr Sylvie Briand of the World Health Organization congratulated the Angolan government and partners for their swift action against the outbreak. Photo: Daniel Johnson

Yellow Fever declared "under control" in Angola

An outbreak of Yellow Fever in Angola has been brought under control, UN health experts said Tuesday, but the risk has yet to be contained in neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The World Health Organization (WHO) announcement comes after a huge vaccination programme in both countries.

Here's WHO's Dr Sylvie Briand, head of pandemic and epidemic diseases:

"So far in Angola more than 15 million people have been vaccinated and so this represents 65 per cent of the population. So we can say that we still have to protect certain districts and provinces, but the risk of major outbreak I think is now over."

Dr Briand called the development "a success story" for Angola and credited the country's government and international partners for their swift action which came just ahead of the rainy season – when the chances of the disease spreading are much higher.

In DRC, WHO says that Yellow Fever remains a threat, although more than seven million people were vaccinated in less than 10 days in the capital, Kinshasa, along with millions more in outlying areas.

Yellow Fever is endemic in around 30 more African countries, according to the UN health agency.

Collective condemnation of DPRK at UN disarmament body

Dozens of countries at the UN's nuclear disarmament body have protested at the latest atomic test carried out by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

In a show of solidarity, nearly 40 permanent delegations voiced their concern at the 9 September detonation, which is North Korea's fifth test.

Among those who spoke at the nuclear non-proliferation body at the UN in Geneva was Tracy Hall, of the United States delegation:

"We have consistently made clear that we will not accept North Korea as a nuclear state, nor will we accept North Korea's possession of nuclear weapons. As President Obama has made clear, we will respond resolutely to North Korea's defiance of its international obligations and commitments."

China also responded to the North Korea blast by saying that such action could only lead to a dead end, while Belgium insisted that the international community would not bow to nuclear blackmail.

Trade deals should have human rights at centre, urges expert

All trade deals should be made in line with human rights treaties, as well as environmental and health goals, the UN Human Rights Council has heard.

In his report to the Geneva-based assembly, UN Independent Rights expert Alfred de Zayas criticised big business for inventing "new rules to suit their needs", which he said "disenfranchise" the public.

Mr de Zayas underlined that these trade agreements impact on the ability of States to regulate transnational companies.

One solution would be to "mainstream human rights into all trade agreements" including those governed by the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Independent Expert suggested.

While civil society, unions and pressure groups would have a role to play in future trade agreements, the responsibility to put human rights at their core would be up to governments, parliaments and courts too, Mr de Zayas said.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 3’07″

 

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