Vietnam urges settlement of security, humanitarian issues in West Africa, Sahel

A Vietnamese representative called for the settlement of security and humanitarian challenges in West Africa and the Sahel while attending the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)’s meeting on July 8.

A meeting of the UN Security Council in New York on June 30 (Photo: VNA)

A Vietnamese representative called for the settlement of security and humanitarian challenges in West Africa and the Sahel while attending the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)’s meeting on July 8.

The event was also attended by Annadif Khatir Mahamat Saleh, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative in West Africa and the Sahel and head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS); and Chantal Ayemou, President of the Cote d’Ivoire Network for the Defence of the Rights of Children and Women.

Speakers said over the last six months, West Africa and the Sahel witnessed certain political progress, notably the successful parliamentary and presidential elections in such countries as Niger, Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, and Burkina Faso.

However, they noted, the security situation in the region has continued recording complex developments as a result of growing terrorism and violence among communities.

They recognised the good response to COVID-19 by countries in West Africa and the Sahel but also voiced concern that the pandemic has pushed these nations into serious recession, reversed economic and poverty alleviation achievements, and hampered efforts to obtain the Sustainable Development Goals.

Saleh emphasised his concern about food insecurity and trans-national crime in many regional countries, along with piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

For her part, Ayemou highlighted several strides in ensuring the rights of women and children in West Africa and the Sahel but also pointed out numerous challenges to this process, especially in securing access to education and healthcare for women.

At the meeting, held every six months, UNSC member states condemned the attacks against civilians, UN staff, and UN peacekeepers in the region.

They highly valued and affirmed their support for activities of UNOWAS and the G5 Sahel force. They also called on the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to keep coordinating with the UNOWAS in maintaining regional peace, security, and development.

Minister Counselor Nguyen Phuong Tra, Deputy Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, recognised the political process in the region, particularly the recent establishment of new governments and parliaments in some countries.

She shared concerns over the security and humanitarian situation in West Africa and the Sahel while condemning the attacks against civilians there.

The diplomat appealed to all stakeholders to strengthen the protection of civilians and UN staff and peacekeepers and ensure that civilians’ legitimate interests and humanitarian aid activities are not impeded.

Vietnam highly values efforts by the UN, UNOWAS, regional organisations, and the G5 Sahel force to contribute to peace, security, development, and promotion of the political process in the region, Tra stressed.

She called for the enhancement of preventive diplomacy, early warning, conflict prevention, and reconciliation during the settlement of regional conflicts, with threats posed by climate change to regional security taken into account./.

(en.vietnamplus.vn)