Heavy smoke rises following an Israeli air strike in central Gaza City, on May 12, 2021. The second day of fighting between Israel and the Hamas militant group ruling the Gaza Strip left massive damage in Gaza and an increasing number of casualties on both sides on Wednesday. — XINHUA/VNA Photo
NEW YORK — The UN Security Council (UNSC) held the second emergency meeting this week on Wednesday (US time) to discuss escalating tensions between Israel and Palestine in recent days, during which Việt Nam expressed serious concerns and opposed related violent acts.
Delivering a briefing on the situation, Tor Wennesland, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, stressed if there is a war, people of both sides will suffer. He called on the UNSC and related parties to take urgent action to prevent the risk.
Ambassador Đặng Đình Quý, Permanent Representative of Việt Nam to the UN, said that Việt Nam is deeply concerned by the escalation of tension, violence and armed conflict leading to casualties on both sides.
Việt Nam condemns violence and excessive use of lethal weapons against civilians, he said, calling on all parties involved to immediately stop the escalation of violence, exercise maximum restraint, and avoid actions and statements that could further complicate the situation.
Việt Nam calls on the parties to resolve conflicts by peaceful measures; ensure the security, safety and legitimate interests of the people; and not to attack their essential infrastructure, Quý noted.
The diplomat also emphasised the important role of regional and international parties, including the Middle East Quartet, and welcomed recent efforts of international organisations and countries to reduce the stress.
The first emergency meeting on the matter took place on May 10 at the request of eight council member nations – Tunisia, Ireland, China, Estonia, France, Norway, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Việt Nam.
Escalating military actions in Yemen
The same day, during an online debate of the council regarding the situation in Yemen, Quý also shared concerns over the increasing military actions and regular border attacks in the Arabian country.
He welcomed the recent shuttle diplomacy efforts by UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths and associates to promote stakeholders' participation in the UN-led peace proposal for Yemen.
It is crucial to immediately stop hostile actions, not to impede humanitarian activities and call on the international community to continue providing financial support to Yemen, Quý said, urging parties to accelerate the implementation of the Stockholm Agreement and the Riyadh Agreement, with the UN playing a mediating role.
According to Special Envoy Griffiths and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock, relevant parties have yet to get close to reaching an agreement to end the conflict.
Meanwhile, clashes have forced more than 25,000 people in Marib to flee, worsening the humanitarian situation, they said, adding that the Middle East country is a severe economic crisis, escalated prices, shortage of financial resources, risk of widespread hunger and increased COVID-19 infections and deaths.
At the discussion, UNSC member states called for an end to violence, greater efforts to help Yemen fight hunger, and increased funding for UN humanitarian operations.
Several countries expressed concerns over attacks on civilians and civil infrastructure facilities in Saudi Arabia. They called on parties not to obstruct humanitarian activities and protect civilians, especially women and children.
They also underlined the need to realise the Stockholm and Riyadh Agreements and urged Ansar Allah to cooperate with the UN in solving the issue of the Safer oil tanker off the coast of Yemen before it is too late. — VNS