News in Brief 2 May 2017 (PM)

2 May 2017

Nuclear science and technology playing “significant role” in development

Expanding membership of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) shows a “growing appreciation of the immense value” of nuclear science and technology.

That’s according to IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano, speaking at the first preparatory committee meeting ahead of the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

He said the addition of four new countries since the 2015 conference indicated there was a realization that “the IAEA is an organization that delivers”.

Mr Amano pointed to the help that the agency is providing to countries in order to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Nuclear technology is being increasingly used in healthcare, energy, food and agricultural fields.

He told the PrepCom meeting in Vienna that the IAEA had demonstrated its ability to respond to recent emergencies such as the Ebola and Zika outbreaks, supplying easy-to-use nuclear-derived diagnostic kits.

He praised the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal, describing it as a “significant gain for verification,” and called on North Korea to full comply with its obligations to curb its nuclear weapons programme.

Central African Republic “one of world’s most forgotten crises”: WFP

The increasing needs of people living in the Central African Republic (CAR) are not being matched by humanitarian funding, turning it into “one of the world’s most forgotten crises.”

That’s the view of the World Food Programme (WFP) which said on Tuesday that it was receiving an “ever shrinking” level of support from donors.

An uptick in violence last October forced tens of thousands to flee their homes in eastern and western regions, and humanitarian workers are working in increasingly dangerous conditions.

WFP says it needs US$12.5 million through to October to meet urgent needs.

Here’s UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric:

“Half the country’s people require humanitarian assistance and more than two million are hungry. WFP’s humanitarian response plan for 2017 is only 7 percent financed. Insufficient funding has forced the agency to cut food rations in half that are distributed to the most vulnerable Central African families – for many, this is the only thing they get to eat.”

UN chief affirms his “commitment” to continue Hammarskjöld investigation

The UN Secretary-General has said he’s committed to continue the investigation into the death of his predecessor, Dag Hammarskjöld, who was killed in a plane crash in 1961.

António Guterres said in a statement on Tuesday that he owed it “to his illustrious and distinguished predecessor,” and the others who died in the crash and their families, to “pursue the full truth.”

Mr Hammarskjöld was on his way to broker a ceasefire between Congolese forces in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The UN chief appointed Tanzanian judge Mohamed Chande Othman to lead a review of evidence, earlier this year.

More from Stéphane Dujarric again:

“Judge Othman held meetings in New York last week with Member States looking into the investigation into the death of Dag Hammarskjöld and of the members of the party accompanying him. Mr. Othman continues to urge Member States to identify and make available possible further information that may shed light on the final stages of flight SE-BDY…Mr. Othman noted that more active cooperation is necessary from Member States to declassify or otherwise allow access to records that are now over 55 years old.”

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 3'11"


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