Use of IEDs is increasing globally: UN
GS Paper - 2 International Issues
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that the use of improvised explosive devices (IED) is increasing as conflicts become more urbanised and armed groups proliferate, and he urged nations to work together to curb the threat from those weapons as well as land mines and other remnants of war. The UN chief told the Security Council on 8 April 2021 that in the preceding three years UN funding made more than 560 square kilometers (215 square miles) safe from IEDs in global hotspots from Afghanistan and Iraq to Cambodia and Colombia. That's an area equivalent to 10 times the size of Manhattan that can now be used for buildings, farming, markets, schools and roads.
- Guterres said IEDs represent the greatest threat to African Union peacekeepers in both Somalia and Mali.
- Mines and other explosive remnants of war hinder the mobility of UN peacekeepers in South Sudan and "new explosive threats" are emerging in Central African Republic and Congo.
- 164 countries are parties to the 1997 international treaty against landmines, which prohibits their use, stockpiling, production and transfers and requires their elimination, 33 UN member states that haven't ratified it "to do so without delay.
- Among the countries that have not ratified are the United States, Russia, China, North Korea, South Korea, Myanmar, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam.
- Vietnam holds the Security Council presidency and organized an 8 April 2021 virtual meeting, which was presided over by its newly named foreign minister, Bui Thanh Son.
- Every year, land mines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices claim nearly 10,000 casualties, mostly civilians, and children in conflict areas such as Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen, but also alarmingly in places like Cambodia, Laos and my own country, Vietnam, where wars ended decades ago.
- The Security Council adopted a presidential statement calling for enhanced international action against mines, war remnants and IEDs, particularly in conflict areas.
- Council members called on all parties in armed conflicts "to end immediately and definitively any indiscriminate use of explosive devices in violation of international humanitarian law.