|Violence erupts at Al Aqsa mosque compound at the height of the month of Ramadan. — AFP/VNA Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Ambassador Đặng Đình Quý expressed Việt Nam’s serious concern over recent tensions in East Jerusalem and called on sides involved to restrain themselves at an emergency UN Security Council meeting held in New York on Monday.
At the meeting on the Middle East situation, including the Palestine issue, UN’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland delivered a briefing on the escalating violence in East Jerusalem, particularly the number of injuries and fatalities among civilians, calling upon the council to take actions to ease the tension.
Quý, Permanent Representative of Việt Nam to the United Nations, said without specific steps, the tension was likely to further escalate and the violent cycle could return at any moment.
He said Việt Nam condemned all acts of violence and unnecessary use of lethal weapons against civilians and called on all parties to exercise maximum restraint and avoid any actions or statements that might complicate the situation.
Expressing his serious concern over the fact that about 970 Palestinians are at risk of being deported from their homes in East Jerusalem, the diplomat called for an end to all acts violating international law and humanitarian obligations.
Việt Nam called on the Israeli government to fully respect the rights of Palestinians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, to traditional religious and cultural activities, especially during the Muslim month of Ramadan, Quý said.
The emergency meeting took place at the request of nine council member countries – Tunisia, Ireland, China, Estonia, France, Norway, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Việt Nam.
IS crimes in Iraq
The same day, the UN Security Council (UNSC) convened a videoconference about the activities of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed Da’esh/Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (UNITAD), with Việt Nam voicing its support for the team’s ongoing investigation into the IS crimes.
Regarding the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh)’s genocide against the Yazidi and war crimes against unarmed cadets and military personnel at Tikrit Air Academy, Special Adviser and Head of the UNITAD Karim Asad Ahmad Khan said: “A landmark moment has been reached in our work, with initial case briefs completed in relation to two key investigative priorities."
The case briefs identified more than 1,400 suspects.
This investigation is developing rapidly, with an initial case brief anticipated to be completed and available to authorities within five months, he said.
By the end of 2021, the team also anticipates the completion of case briefs addressing crimes committed against Christian, Kaka’i, Shabak, Shia Turkmen and Sunni communities in Iraq, as well as the massacre of predominantly Shia inmates at Badush prison.
Participating council members acknowledged the effective operation of UNITAD, particularly amid COVID-19-related difficulties and security complexities in Iraq.
They appreciated the co-operation of the Iraqi central and local governments with the mission. Many statements pledged to continue to support UNITAD. Some member countries suggested that UNITAD pay attention to ensuring respect for Iraqi sovereignty in investigating and punishing convicted individuals.
Permanent Representative of Việt Nam to the UN Đặng Đình Quý lauded the team’s innovative approach and its results, adding that the application of advanced technologies and digital platforms proved very efficient in evidence-collecting activities by allowing witnesses and survivors to submit information remotely.
The Ambassador suggested that UNITAD continue to focus on its strategic priorities in the coming time, strengthen work with the Iraqi government, regional and local authorities and religious leaders, and adopt all procedures and measures to protect victims and witnesses.
Việt Nam urged the international community to increase support for UNITAD to carry out its mission.
Established in September 2017 and becoming operational in mid-August 2018, UNITAD now groups about 130 experts, investigators, and security and support personnel. — VNS