This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Engaging women and girls in science ‘vital’ for achieving sustainable development goals
Boosting the number of women and girls entering so-called STEM careers – meaning Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths - is vital to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
That was the message from UN Secretary-General António Guterres to mark the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, celebrated on Monday.
This year’s theme is “Investment in Women and Girls for Inclusive Green Growth”.
Mr. Guterres highlighted that women and girls remain “woefully under-represented”, for reasons that include gender stereotypes, a lack of visible role models and unsupportive or even hostile policies and environments.
UN data shows that only around 30 per cent of female students select STEM-related fields in higher education.
Food for millions in Yemen at risk of rotting in key Red Sea port
Desperately needed food aid for millions of Yemenis “is at risk of rotting” in a storage facility in the port city of Hudaydah, because conditions are too unsafe to reach it, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen and UN Emergency relief chief said on Monday.
In a joint statement, envoy Martin Griffiths and OCHA head Mark Lowcock, warned that the urgency of getting to the Red Sea mills was “growing day by day”.
It’s been more than five months since UN aid workers were last able to access it.
With enough food to feed 3.7 million people for a month, the grain stored in the mills could help the World Food Programme (WFP) scale up food assistance to nearly 12 million people; a 50 per cent increase on 2018.
In December, WFP reached a record 10 million people. Until now, however, forces affiliated with the Houthi movement, which controls the vital port of Hudaydah, have not allowed the UN to cross front lines to access the lifesaving grain.
Judicial independence under threat in Nigeria, warns UN rights expert
The dismissal of Nigeria’s Chief Justice may constitute a grave attack on judicial independence from the State, a UN-appointed independent rights expert said on Monday. The expert warned of “threats, pressures and interferences” made against the lawyers defending him.
Chief Justice Walter Onnoghen, was suspended on 25 January, the independent UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Diego Garcia-Sayán noted in his statement.
His comments come ahead of general elections in Nigeria, due to be held on Saturday.
“International human rights standards provide that judges may be dismissed only on serious grounds of misconduct or incompetence,” he said.
Mr. Garcia- Sayán added that “any decision to suspend or remove a judge from office should be fair and should be taken by an independent authority.
He said the decision to replace Chief Justice Onnoghen last month with Ibrahim Tanko Mohammad, was taken by Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari.
Ana Carmo, United Nations.