News in Brief 19 December 2016 (PM)

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

UN Chief condemns the assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has condemned the assassination of Russia's Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov in the capital Ankara on Monday.

The UN chief expressed his condolences to the family of Ambassador Karlov and said he was "appalled by this senseless act of terror" and emphasized that "there can be no justification for the targeting of diplomatic personnel and civilians."

Ambassador Karlov was attending an art exhibition when he was shot by a man who news reports have identified as a Turkish police officer, although it is not known if he had links to any group.

Three others were reportedly injured during the shooting.

Words must be turned "into meaningful action" in Aleppo, following resolution

The words of Monday's Security Council resolution on Aleppo must now be turned "into meaningful action", according to the UN Emergency Relief chief, Stephen O'Brien.

He said the resolution which approves the deployment of monitors to oversee the voluntary and safe evacuation of civilians from east Aleppo, needed to be "implemented without delay."

He said the UN was on the ground already monitoring and helping displaced people coming out of the war-torn city, which has been largely recaptured by Syrian forces and their allies.

More on Mr O'Brien's statement, from UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric.

"We stand ready to scale up our presence and efforts across the entire city, in line with the resolution and international humanitarian law. This can be done immediately, but only if the parties live up to this resolution and their most basic of legal obligations."

The UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, issued a statement saying it was vital to build on the Security Council resolution "with further steps" including fresh Syria peace talks in February.

Clarification sought on Iran plan to develop nuclear "marine vessels"

Clarification is being sought by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), over possible Iranian plans to develop nuclear-powered "marine vessels".

The IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano met over the weekend with the Iranian President and his deputy, who also leads Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, and "underlined the need to meet the relevant requirements of the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement", and the deal with world powers to ensure Iran's peaceful nuclear development, known as the JCPOA.

According to news reports on Iranian government websites, Iran had asked for IAEA advice on developing a possible fleet of nuclear-powered vessels.

In a statement, Mr Amano said he had "stressed the vital importance of full implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments" moving forward, in order to make the JCPOA sustainable.

He added that the deal was a "net gain" when it comes to verification of Iran's nuclear programme.

More than 100,000 civilians displaced during Mosul offensive

Around 104,000 civilians have been internally displaced in Iraq by the on-going effort to retake the city of Mosul from ISIL terrorists, according to the UN.

ISIL, or Daesh fighters over-ran the city in the summer of 2014, and an Iraqi government-led offensive began two months ago.

More details from UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric.

“Food and water shortages persist in retaken neighbourhoods of eastern Mosul city, affecting approximately 250,000 people. Humanitarian partners have continued to provide assistance…UNICEF partners are trucking water to eastern Mosul city, delivering approximately 450,000 litres of water per day to some 45,000 people."

Aid agencies are supporting medical facilities which are treating casualties from the fighting, but the main centre in the Zahraa area of the city, is reportedly overwhelmed, treating 1700 casualties in just one day recently.

Andita Listyarini, United Nations.

Duration: 3’42″

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