|An open debate on Children and Armed Conflict in the UN Security Council was held virtually on June 28, 2021. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Ending wars and bringing peace to all regions in the world is a prerequisite to protect children, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Đặng Hoàng Giang said at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)’s online open debate late Monday.
Việt Nam is well aware of losses and suffering caused by wars, especially when it comes to children, he said, adding that protecting children in armed conflicts is always a priority of Việt Nam since its first tenure serving as a non-permanent member of the UNSC (2008-2009).
Giang urged concerned parties to immediately implement the UN Secretary-General's call for a global ceasefire, and to respect and comply with international law, especially humanitarian law, to ensure that children get full access to humanitarian aid and COVID-19 vaccines.
The Deputy Minister stressed the significance of protecting essential civilian infrastructure in conflicts, notably schools and hospitals, calling on countries to further implement relevant resolutions of the UNSC and join the Safe Schools Declaration.
Child protection should be at the core of peacekeeping, he said, adding that it should be integrated in the mandates of all relevant peacekeeping operations and political missions.
In his remarks at the Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said during 2020, almost 24,000 grave violations were committed against 19,300 children in the 21 situations covered by this mandate.
The COVID-19 pandemic has added new dimensions to this vital work – and new stresses, he said, appealing to the international community to coordinate to end violations against children.
Many countries also suggested further integrating the agenda on children and armed conflicts into activities of the UNSC and relevant mechanisms. — VNS