Vietnam, as the rotating President of the UNSC, held this event virtually and in person under the chair of Minister Son.

Vietnamese participants to the debate pose for a joint photo.

Attending the discussion were UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, nine ministers and deputy ministers, ambassadors and heads of missions of the UNSC member states. The event’s speakers included Director of the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining Stefano Toscano, UNDP Goodwill Ambassador actress Yeoh Choo-Kheng, Manager of Project RENEW All-Women Demining Team in Vietnam Nguyen Thi Dieu Linh, and UN Global Advocate for the Elimination of Mines and Explosive Hazards actor Daniel Craig.

The event also saw the presence of officials from Vietnamese ministries, departments, and localities badly affected by war-left bombs, mines and explosives; representatives from the embassies of the UNSC member states, UN organizations, and domestic and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working on mine action.

At the event, delegates highly valued Vietnam’s initiative on the organization of  such an important meeting. They voiced their support  for the humanitarian purpose of limiting the use of bombs and mines in the world. They emphasized the consequences of bombs and mines in conflict areas in the past and present. They also voiced their support for national and international efforts to settle consequences of bombs and mines and unexploded ordnance, assist victims, and stabilize the situation for reconstruction and socio-economic development.

Delegates highly praised international cooperation in mine action and stressed the need to boost cohesion and coordination within the UN system, including the UNSC, in order to make more contributions to the UN and relevant countries’ mine action efforts.

In his speech, Minister Son highlighted the importance of settling the consequences of wars and conflicts and said that this issue should be paid more attention to in the UNSC agenda.

The Vietnamese official shared Vietnam’s experience in this regard, such as due attention and close direction from the leaderships at all levels, investment in capacity building, close coordination among ministries, departments, localities, NGOs, and the engagement of people from all walks of life, especially women.

Minister Son stressed that countries need to further their cooperation in mine action to reap more sustainable outcomes, through providing finance, technical assistance, improving capacity, raising awareness, and sharing experience with affected countries.

According to Son, the UN, especially the UNSC, should step up measures to ensure safety for peacekeepers, protect civilians, and promote sustainable peace.

On the occasion, the UNSC adopted the first presidential statement, proposed by Vietnam, on mine action. This statement is of significance, emphasizing the connection between mine action and maintenance of sustainable peace, stability, and development and heightening the necessity for international cooperation in mine action.

The statement also mentions new important content, such as impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, giving more support to affected countries, considering setting up specialized mine action units at UN peacekeeping missions, and taking into account the special needs of women and children in deploying related missions.

Translated by Mai Huong