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Vietnam chairs UNSC open debate on protection of objects indispensable to civilian population’s survival

Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son, as Chair of the UN Security Council (UNSC) for April, presided over an in-person and online ministerial open debate of the council on the theme “Protection of Objects Indispensable to the Survival of the Civilian Population” on April 27.

The event was attended by UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock, former Australian Prime Minister and Chair of the International Peace Institute (IPI) Board Kevin Rudd, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross Peter Maurer and representatives of 15 member countries of the UNSC.

Delegates spoke highly of Vietnam’s initiative, highlighting the deep humanitarian significance of the debate's theme, especially when civilians in many conflicts across the globe are bearing the brunt of essential infrastructure destroyed and affected by environmental pollution, climate change and COVID-19.

They affirmed the significance of compliance with international humanitarian laws and underlined the increasing need for international cooperation, as well as the role of the UN, in protecting civilians and essential infrastructure amid conflicts.

In his remarks, Son said as a war-torn country, Vietnam called on relevant parties to abide by international law, including the International Humanitarian Law, and promote international and regional cooperation as well as the role of the UN in supporting the recovery and reconstruction of essential infrastructure, and improving people’s resilience to cope with challenges during and after conflicts.

Protecting objects indispensable to the survival of civilians is the foundation for sustainable peace, he said, noting that preventing conflicts is the best way to protect the civilian population. 

The minister called attention to the need to deal with the root cause of conflicts such as poverty, inequality and power abuse, while promoting efforts for sustainable development at both national and global levels.

At the debate, the UNSC passed a resolution on protection of objects indispensable for the survival of the civilian population, which emphasises the significance of observing the International Humanitarian Law and ensuring humanitarian aid, especially in the context of COVID-19.

This is the first resolution proposed by Vietnam at the UNSC during its tenure as a UNSC non-permanent member for 2020-2021.

This is also the first time the council has held a comprehensive debate and adopted a resolution on his issue./