The country will make civilian protection its top priority in any armed conflicts that involve the United Nations and its Security Council, Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, head of the Vietnamese mission to the UN affirmed on May 27 during the council’s open debate held on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict.
|Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, head of the Vietnamese mission to the UN
The diplomat went on the state that the most effective and long-term solution for protecting the lives of civilians is to attempt to prevent armed conflicts and maintain a sustainable peace in troubled areas.
When a conflict occurs, the main responsibility of each nation should be to protect its civilians, the Ambassador stressed, adding that international organisations such as the UN and their peacekeeping forces have a vital role to play in supporting people living in conflict-hit nations. Due to their importance, they must be supplied with sufficient resources in order to carry out their demands.
Moreover, the Vietnamese diplomat voiced his strong objections to attacks targeting any civilians and civil facilities, especially schools, hospitals, water, and food production systems.
Ambassador Quy underlined the nation’s commitment to backing UN Secretary-General António Guterres' appeal for a global ceasefire amid the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The UN chief noted that over 20,000 civilians were killed or injured in just ten conflicts in Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, the Ukraine, and Yemen last year, whilst 90 percent of people killed by explosive devises in populated areas were civilians.VNA
Furthermore, last year saw tens of thousands of children being forced to take part in hostilities, whilst millions of people were displaced as a result of various armed conflicts, he noted.
While the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, the virus will continue to cause enormous human suffering and additional stress to health systems globally, along with economies and communities, according to UN Secretary-General Guterres. In places that armed conflict continue, the COVID-19 will make the protection of civilians even more challenging than ever.
The UN Secretary-General therefore asked countries to review and change their mindset towards urban warfare, committing to the protection of civilians in areas under their control.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former Liberian President, emphasised the need to exert efforts to halt armed conflicts. She called on greater regional and international solidarity to support underdeveloped countries, and therefore enhance international co-operation and boost women empowerment.