Vietnam calls for eradication of barriers, discrimination against widows hinh anh 1Nguyen Phuong Tra, Deputy Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – A diplomat from Vietnam urged the eradication of barriers and discrimination against widows in conflicts while addressing an Arria-formula meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC) on November 15.

The session, themed “Closing the Protection Gap for Widows in Conflict and Post-Conflict Settings”, took place under the chair of the African Union ambassador to the UN and the chargé d’affaires of Niger.

Nguyen Phuong Tra, Deputy Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, said although widows haven’t received due attention in conflicts, they have capacity and an important role to play in families, peacebuilding, and community mediation.

She held that to ensure the interests of and better attention to widows, it is necessary to improve the awareness of their role, demand, and legitimate interests.

Countries and relevant parties in conflicts must guarantee security and safety for widows and their children and ensure unimpeded humanitarian access. The inheritance, asset, land, education, and healthcare rights, as well as other equality rights, of widows in conflict and post-conflict settings need due attention. Widows should also be given conditions to equally take part in decision-making and peace processes, according to the diplomat.

Tra recommended countries and international and regional organisations collect statistics and prepare reports on challenges facing widows in conflicts so as to create a basis for building relevant programmes and policies.

She also suggested a section on widowhood reserved in the UN Secretary-General’s annual reports on women, peace, and security.

At the meeting, Vietnam reaffirmed consistent efforts and coordination with the international community to ensure all women’s full, equal, and meaningful participation in relevant processes.

Representatives of other UNSC members, UN Women, and the Global Fund for Widows pointed out the fact and challenges facing more than 350 million widows around the world.

They underlined the need to eradicate barriers and discrimination against the group and improve the common awareness of widows’ role and contributions in conflict and post-conflict settings./.