News in Brief 13 December 2016 (PM)

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard


Battle for Aleppo should not be start of broader military campaign in Syria

The battle for the control of the city of Aleppo in Syria should not represent the start of a broader military offensive in the war-ravaged country, the UN Secretary-General has told a special session of the Security Council.

Syrian government forces have been battling rebel fighters in the east of the city and according to reports are close to regaining full control there.

The UN estimated that up to 250,000 civilians were besieged in the east.

Here's UN chief, Ban Ki-moon.

"Aleppo should represent the end of the quest for military victory, not the start of a broader military campaign in a country already ravaged beyond all recognition by five years of war. The current battle needs to be followed by an immediate end to violence by all sides, unfettered humanitarian access throughout, engagement and genuine engagement without preconditions around the political tools we already possess."

Meanwhile, the Russian ambassador to the UN has said that a deal has been reached to allow rebel fighters to leave eastern Aleppo.

Private sector urged to increase commitment to agricultural science

The private sector and governments have been urged by the UN to increase their commitments to agricultural science in order to achieve the goal of defeating global hunger and poverty by 2030.

In a report, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned that if investment in agricultural research is not increased, global efforts to achieve the zero-hunger target by 2030, Goal 2 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), could fall short.

The FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific, Kundhavi Kadiresan said with nearly 800 million hungry and undernourished people in the world, scientific and technological advances in agriculture ,were needed "perhaps more than ever before."

Afghan government's investigation of alleged violations welcomed

The Afghan government’s commitment to investigate the alleged human rights violations committed against a politician has been welcomed by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

Ahmad Ishchi reports he was illegally detained and severely maltreated by security officials acting under the authority of the First Vice President, Abdul Rashid Dostum, who, news reports say, is regarded as a political rival.

The mission said it was concerned about the allegations and stressed the importance of due process and accountability.

Priyanka Shankar, United Nations.

Duration: 2’47″

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