Vietnam co-chairs debate on protecting environment in armed conflicts

Protecting the environment in conflicts is a crucial need and a shared responsibility of the international community, Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, head of the Vietnamese Mission to the United Nations, has affirmed.

A discussion session at the UN Security Council (Photo: VNA)
A discussion session at the UN Security Council (Photo: VNA)

Quy made the statement at an online discussion jointly held by the Vietnamese Mission to the UN, the Swiss Mission to the UN, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the peace organisation PAX on May 29 in response to the UN Protection of Civilians Week.

He stressed the need for States to pay attention to restore the environment after conflicts to help civilians soon stabilise their life and maintain sustainable peace.

He told participants that Agent Orange/dioxin has caused serious impact on Vietnam’s population and the environment, as over 3 million Vietnamese people are dioxin victims and hundreds of thousands of hectares of land are contaminated by the chemical.

Meanwhile, addressing dioxin consequences needs huge resources and time, he added.

The diplomat took the occasion to thank UN member states, organisations and the international community for supporting Vietnam in dioxin detoxification and helping dioxin victims.

Delegates at the event emphasised the need for more discussions at UN and UN Security Council mechanisms on environmental protection in armed conflicts as there is a close connection between protection of the environment, protection of civilians, and development goals.