NEW YORK — Ambassador Đặng Đình Quý, Permanent Representative of Việt Nam to the United Nations (UN), has reaffirmed Việt Nam’s support for the settlement of the Western Sahara issue via peace talks between relevant parties on the basis of international law and resolutions of the UN Security Council (UNSC).
Addressing the UNSC’s debate on the Western Sahara situation on April 21, the Vietnamese diplomat emphasised the need to find a fair, lasting and acceptable solution to all parties, which guarantees the self-determination of people in Western Sahara and is consistent with principles and purposes of the UN Charter for peace, cooperation and development in the region.
He also highlighted the role of the UN and other stakeholders, including the African Union (AU), in conciliating, preventing conflicts and building confidence to resolve the issue.
Quý urged relevant parties to restrain and avoid actions leading the escalation of tensions, and return to negotiations as soon as possible with the UN’s intermediate role.
The ambassador shared difficulties facing people in Western Sahara, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that priority should be given to ensuring that humanitarian activities are not impeded.
It is necessary to soon appoint an envoy of the UN Secretary-General to Western Sahara to continue implementing negotiation results achieved in 2019, Quý stated.
Reports presented at the debate showed that the Western Sahara situation in recent years continued to witness hostile activities and disrespect for the 1991 ceasefire and the Military Agreement No 1 between relevant parties.
Head of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) Colin Stewart also mentioned difficulties and challenges facing the mission in implementing its tasks, including collecting and verifying information in the field.
Support for Colombian government
The same day, addressing the UN Security Council’s online open debate on the situation in Colombia and operations of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, Ambassador Quý called on the UN and the international community to support the Colombian Government and promote peace, security and development in this country, acknowledging positive development steps in the country in the political and socio-economic fields, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
He spoke highly of the Colombian Government’s commitments to implementing the re-integration process, including the protection of veterans.
The Vietnamese representative proposed all relevant parties continue participating in dialogue in a constructive manner to address challenges and differences in the peace process, particularly the approval of mechanisms which are set up in accordance with the Peace Agreement.
Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Colombia and Head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia, spoke highly of political, security and economic progress in the South American country since the Peace Agreement was signed.
He, however, expressed his concerns over increasing attacks and violence targeting veterans and socialists.
He called on the Colombian Government to continue promoting the political process and protecting vulnerable groups, especially women and children, in conflict-affected areas.
Participants also suggested the government complete guidance on the implementation of public and socio-economic development policies.
They also reaffirmed their backing for activities of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia and the country’s government during the peace and national reconciliation process. — VNS