|Nguyễn Phương Trà, Deputy Permanent Representative of Việt Nam to the UN. — Photo from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs|
HÀ NỘI — A diplomat from Việt Nam has called for the eradication of the barriers and discrimination facing widows caused by conflict while addressing an Arria-formula meeting of the UN Security Council on Monday (US time).
Nguyễn Phương Trà, Deputy Permanent Representative of Việt Nam to the UN, said although widows haven’t received due attention in conflicts, they play an important role in families, peacebuilding and community mediation.
She said that to ensure the interests of widows, it is necessary to improve the awareness of their role in society.
The session, themed “Closing the Protection Gap for Widows in Conflict and Post-Conflict Settings”, took place under the chair of the African Union ambassador to the UN and the chargé d’affaires of Niger.
Countries and relevant parties in conflicts must guarantee the security and safety of widows and their children and ensure unimpeded humanitarian access. The inheritance, assets, lands, education, and healthcare rights, as well as other equality rights, of widows in conflict and post-conflict settings need due attention. Widows should also be provided with conditions to equally take part in decision-making and peace processes, according to the diplomat.
Trà recommends that countries and international and regional organisations collect statistics and prepare reports on the challenges facing widows in conflicts, to create a basis for building relevant programmes and policies.
She also suggested a section on widowhood be reserved in the UN Secretary-General’s annual report on women, peace, and security.
At the meeting, Việt Nam restated its commitment to the international community to ensure all women’s full, equal, and meaningful participation in relevant processes.
Representatives of other UN Security Council members, UN Women, and the Global Fund for Widows pointed out the challenges facing more than 350 million widows around the world.
They underlined the need to eradicate barriers and discrimination against the group and improve the common awareness of widows’ roles and contributions in conflict and post-conflict settings. — VNS