News in Brief 31 March 2016 (AM)

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IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano. File Photo: IAEA/Dean Calma

Safety key to future nuclear development

Safety is the key to the future development of nuclear power, the head of the UN nuclear agency told delegates attending a summit on the industry.

World leaders are in Washington DC to discuss the role of the nuclear industry in the world, cyber threats as well as the storage and transport of radiological and nuclear materials.

Speaking at the event, Yukiya Amano, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency warned that an attack involving nuclear or radioactive material could happen.

Fortunately, he said, there was a convention adopted by countries a decade ago, making it legally binding to protect nuclear facilities as well as nuclear material.

Its entry into force, he added, would reduce the likelihood of terrorists being able to detonate a radioactive dispersal device, otherwise known as a "dirty bomb."

Mr Amano said that adherence by seven countries is needed for entry into force and that he expected it to happen "in the coming months".

Former Serbian MP Vojislav Šešelj acquitted of war crimes

A former Serbian politician has been acquitted by the UN tribunal in The Hague of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

A statement issued by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia confirmed the ruling, specifying that the "Prosecution failed to prove the existence of a criminal purpose."

Vojislav Šešelj was accused of having directly "committed, incited, aided and abetted" those crimes committed by Serbian forces during the period from August 1991 until September 1993.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Prosecutor said it understood that many victims and communities would be disappointed by the judgment but said it would carefully review the reasoning and determine if there were grounds for an appeal.

Aid urgently needed to save lives in drought-hit Somalia

Aid agencies are seeking US$105 million to reach more than one million people in the drought-affected northern regions of Somalia.

A "Call for Aid" was launched by the UN humanitarian agency, OCHA, Thursday outlining the main needs, gaps and response plans needed to avoid a further deterioration of the situation.

Severe drought exacerbated by El Niño conditions has hit parts of Puntland and Somaliland.

Peter de Clercq, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, warns that the two regions have reached a "critical point" and that urgent action was needed.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 2’27″

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