Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, condemned deliberate attacks targeting UN peacekeepers during an UN Security Council (UNSC) open debate via video teleconference (VTC) on May 24.
Peacekeepers of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan during a patrol on March 7, 2018. (Photo: Reuters)
The debate on “UN peacekeeping operations: Improving Safety and Security of Peacekeepers” was attended by Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support Atul Khare and Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security Gilles Michaud.
UN peacekeepers play a very important role in de-escalating tension and ending conflicts, enforcing ceasefire and political agreements, protecting civilians and facilitating the provision of humanitarian assistance, Quy said. They help fulfill the UN mission's mandate and the responsibility of the UNSC in maintaining international peace and security.
However, peacekeepers are facing a growing number of deliberate attacks and accidents while performing their duties, he said, urging all parties to observe international laws and related UNSC resolutions to enhance their safety and security.
The Vietnamese ambassador asked the UN and its member states to double efforts to improve peacekeepers’ preparedness through training and updating training programmes among others, while making sure they are fully equipped with necessary facilities, information and resources, and protected against emerging threats, such as COVID-19 and improvised explosive devices. He particularly called for more attention to be paid to protecting female peacekeepers.
He reiterated Vietnam’s support for UN peacekeeping operations and that the country attaches great importance to guaranteeing safety and security of peacekeepers.
According to the UN, since 2013, more than 260 peacekeepers have died as a result of malicious attacks, and there have been a considerable number of casualties owing to factors such as illness, traffic accidents and other causes.
The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has not only affected the implementation of peacekeeping mandates, but also posed serious challenges to the safety and security of peacekeepers. Recently, terrorism, malicious attacks and armed conflicts have cost the lives of a number of peacekeepers in Mali, the Central African Republic and other mission areas./.VNA