This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
‘Deep sadness’ at passing of IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano
The head of the UN body that oversees nuclear States, Yukiya Amano, has died aged 72, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Monday.
Among many tributes, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, spoke of Mr. Amano’s “remarkable contributions to the peaceful use of nuclear technology” and his commitment to cooperation among countries.
In an online message of support, Mr. Guterres tweeted that he had been deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Mr. Amano, a Japanese national and IAEA head since 2009.
He was due to step down next March amid reports of an unspecified illness.
In a letter to the agency’s Board of Governors announcing his decision to resign, Mr. Amano wrote that over the past decade, IAEA had delivered “concrete results” to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, in line with its mandate.
In a speech last year, he said that in addition to overseeing nuclear verification regimes involving Iran, the agency had also helped countries use science and technology to produce more food, generate more electricity, treat cancer and respond to climate change.
UN peacekeeping in Mali boosted with addition of 250 UK troops
The United Kingdom is to send 250 troops to Mali next year, in support of the UN’s peacekeeping operation in the country, MINUSMA.
A statement from the UK Government on Monday noted that the soldiers were being deployed in recognition of increased instability in Africa’s Sahel region.
Their objective will be to deliver “long-term and sustainable peace in Mali” for an initial three-year period.
According to the Ministry of Defence, the contingent will be based in Gao, eastern Mali, joining a total international force around 12,500 strong.
In a video released by the UN Mission on Monday, the UK’s Defence Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, said that there will be no caveats on the use of the troops, who will support a zero-tolerance policy on sexual violence and work to promote the rights of women and children.
UNESCO chief condemns killing of Afghan radio journalist
The killing of a radio journalist in Afghanistan has been condemned by the head of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, who’s added her voice to calls to catch those responsible for the “gruesome crime”.
In a statement, the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization condemned the murder of Nadershah Sahibzada in the city of Gardiz, 10 days ago.
Mr. Sahibzada presented an entertainment programme on local radio until he went missing.
When his body was found, it showed signs of torture and stab wounds.
Ms. Azoulay said that she hoped that a successful criminal investigation would help stem future attacks on freedom of expression and on the media, “which have a major role to play in the reconstruction of Afghanistan and efforts to consolidate democracy and rule of law”.
According to UNESCO data, 30 journalists have been killed so far this year worldwide.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.