Advancing the rights and living conditions of persons with disabilities

In his opening statement, UN Under-Secretary-General Mr. Sha Zukang mentioned that he was pleased that some Member States have gone beyond ratification and have taken measures that implement the Convention. Some governments have strengthened existing legislative frameworks that protect persons with disabilities. In other cases, new legislation has been created – such as anti-discrimination laws. Yet fewer than half of all Member States have ratified the Convention and its Optional Protocol. He called on the remaining Member States to become States Parties to this Convention to bring about widespread and lasting change. More information is available on the UN website.
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The Third Session of the Conference of States Parties to the UN CRPD was held at the UN Headquarters in New York, USA

IF visit to Interflour Group in Vietnam

Interflour Vietnam is the only milling company in Vietnam that enriches its flour with Folic Acid and other micronutrients. The company and IF have been longtime partners in the Flour Fortification Initiative, combatting micronutrient deficiency worldwide by fortifying flour with at least Folic Acid and Iron. CEO Shuitsu Sato and Milling Manager Arco Van Herk generously invited IF to their company in Vung Tau, Vietnam. "Folic Acid fortification of staple foods is the most effective way of raising folate levels in the whole population and the single most effective measure to reduce the incidence of Neural Tube Defects as Spina Bifida" said IF president Pierre Mertens in a presentation to the company's management. Wheat flour is a good vehicle to improve the micronutrient status in a population, extra initiatives are needed in regions where flour is not the main staple.
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Milling Manager Arco Van Herk explains the industrial milling process to IF president Pierre Mertens at Interflour's flour mill in Vung Tau, Vietnam

WHO and European Commission adopt joint declaration

During the annual meeting of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe in Moscow, Russian Federation, the WHO and the European Commission adopted a joint declaration, seeking to strengthen policy dialogue and technical cooperation on public health. The joint declaration calls for a more cohesive effort to improve health security throughout the WHO European Region. The declaration highlights the need for closer monitoring of health inequalities across the European Region and for exploring ways to combat them. It also underscores the importance of formal education in building healthy lifestyles. A coordinated effort will be made to facilitate the development of a new European health policy for the WHO European Region: an integrated framework for tackling existing health challenges on the wider European continent.

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Ms Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, and Mr John Dalli, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy (Photo: WHO/D. Ternovoy)

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