News in Brief 21 December 2016 (PM)

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

"Exercise maximum restraint" in face of political crisis DRC leaders warned

Political leaders are being urged to "exercise maximum restraint" in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, during the on-going crisis caused by the refusal of President Charles Kabila to obey constitutional law, and step down.

In a statement, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, urged "all parties involved" in the political mediation process to "work constructively and in good faith" to find a solution.

President Kabila was supposed to leave office on Monday, after two terms in power.

The UN chief said he was closely monitoring developments, and deplored the reported loss of life during clashes between security forces and protesters, in several locations around the country.

He called on leaders to "place the interests of the country and the people above partisan and personal considerations."

Mr Ban said that mediation talks should focus on the holding of "timely, credible and transparent elections".

Aid volunteers killed in Iraqi city of Mosul, according to reports

Four volunteers distributing aid in a newly-retaken part of Mosul have been killed by so-called indirect fire, in what the UN is calling a "tragic incident".

Reports say that the volunteers were from a local community-based organization, and they had been distrusting food and fuel in the Zuhoor neighbourhood.

Scores of bystanders were injured.

Iraqi government forces began a major offensive to liberate Mosul from ISIL terrorist control, just over two months ago.

Here's UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq.

"This tragic incident underlines the security concerns associated with the situation in eastern Mosul neighbourhoods where scheduled distributions of multi-sectoral aid, including food and hygiene supplies, have not taken place in recent days due to insecurity. "

The UN in Iraq has also received reports of an explosion in the eastern Mosul neighbourhood of Samah earlier on Wednesday, possibly close to another aid distribution point.

UN agencies continue to support primary health centres in eastern Mosul city neighbourhoods and are trucking water to 45,000 people in this area.

Paris Agreement on climate change vital for "jobs and markets of the future"

The Paris Agreement on climate change, aimed at limiting global carbon emissions also "points the way toward the jobs and markets of the future."

That's according to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a speech during his final trip away from Headquarters as UN chief, at Southern Illinois University in the United States.

Mr Ban told the university that the agreement to limit carbon emissions to less than 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels was about more than "avoiding doomsday" adding that climate action was already part of the real economy.

"Climate change is real. The science is settled" he said, and he warned that the agreement signed by 193 countries was a "rare and precious achievement that we should nurture and guard."

During the recent US presidential campaign, President-Elect Donald Trump said he would pull the US out of the agreement, but late last month he reportedly said he had an "open mind" over the issue.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2'28"

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