Việt Nam urges priority for saving lives in global refugee challenge

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HÀ NỘI — The UN Security Council discussed the worldwide refugee situation at a briefing on Tuesday (US time), during which a Vietnamese diplomat called on all parties concerned to prioritise saving lives so that no one died while crossing a border or sea.

Ambassador Phạm Hải Anh, Chargé d’affaires of Việt Nam in the UN, said that to prevent a wave of refugees, relevant governments held the main responsibility for ensuring peace and security and resolving the root causes of conflicts.

Countries also need to meet people’s basic needs and create a peaceful environment for development, he added.

He emphasised that people’s lives were the most important asset.

Constructive dialogue by related sides was the most effective method for the safe return and reintegration of refugees. Solutions, activities, and programmes of international cooperation and support must centre on people, avoid politicisation, respect sovereignty and not interfere in other’s internal affairs, according to Hải Anh.

The diplomat also underscored the necessity of ensuring transparency in granting refugee status to those seeking asylum, and in making decisions and policies. It is also needed to differentiate refugees, irregular migrants, and those migrating for economic purposes, especially amid emerging non-traditional security threats.

He reiterated that Việt Nam attached importance to regional and international cooperation and respected international law, including performing relevant obligations to deal with global challenges.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and other participants said the number of internally displaced people (IDP) and refugees has been on the rise as a result of uncontrolled conflict, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

Council member states said that this was the common responsibility of all countries and the UN Security Council, noting that it was necessary to deal with the root causes of the refugee and IDP issue, increase humanitarian aid to guarantee their safety and access to fundamental services. Countries also need to enhance their political resolve and coordination to seek solutions and promote international cooperation on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. — VNS

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