News in Brief 17 July 2017 (PM)

17 July 2017

UN “deeply concerned” for safety of civilians in Raqqa

The UN and the humanitarian community remain “deeply concerned” for the safety of people trapped in Raqqa city in Syria, the deputy UN spokesperson has said.

Farhan Haq confirmed the news during a briefing to the press on Monday.

Heavy fighting continues to affect civilians, he said, causing thousands to be displaced and scores of deaths and injuries.

“Conditions inside the city are reported to be extremely dire, with limited access to food, water and basic services for the 30,000 to 50,000 people who remain trapped in the city. Meanwhile, on Saturday, a UN/Syrian Arab Red Crescent inter-agency humanitarian convoy delivered assistance to 89,000 men, women and children in the hard-to-reach areas of Al-Houla (in rural Homs) and Harbinafseh (in rural Hama). Select medical equipment and medicines were not allowed to be loaded or reduced in quantity. The area was last reached on 13 April 2017.”

Mr Haq said the UN continued to call for safe, unimpeded and sustained access to all people in need across the country, particularly the more than 4.5 million men, women and children in hard-to-reach and besieged areas.

UN launches training to help rebuild Somalia’s justice sector

The UN has launched a training programme together with the Government of Somalia for over 350 judicial officers in a bid to rebuild the country’s justice sector.

The UN Assistance Mission in the country, UNSOM, helped design and develop the training programme with the support of the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

The training will initially benefit judges, prosecutors, and registrars before it is expanded to judicial personnel.

It’s the first structured training of its kind in Somalia since 2012, said UN Police Commissioner, Christopher Buik.

UN pays tribute to “inspirational” pioneer, Maryam Mirzakhani

The UN is paying tribute to the Iranian born mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani who passed away on Saturday at the age of 40.

Ms Mirzakhani was the first woman to receive the prestigious Fields Medal in mathematics, according to a statement released by the UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Monday.

She was awarded the medal in 2014, an honour that is widely acknowledged as the “Noble Prize of mathematics.”

UNESCO said Mirzakhani’s “pioneering” work was reshaping the field of mathematics, in particular, the study of geometry.

Describing her as “an inspiration to young women everywhere,” the agency hoped her memory will encourage young women to break through “persistent and unfounded stereotypes” when it comes to pursuing careers in math and science.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 2'34''


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