At UN Security Council Debate, Nguyen Thi Dieu Linh Briefs on Bomb/Mine Clearance in Quang Tri, Vietnam

New York: April 8, 2021 – Expressing deep concern over the high number of civilian casualties caused by bombs, landmines, explosive war remnants and improvised explosive devices, the United Nations Security Council today reiterated its call on belligerents to “immediately and definitively” end the indiscriminate use of such weapons, as senior Government officials debated ways to rid the world of a pernicious legacy.

The day heard from some of the world’s leading advocates of bomb and mine clearance. Among them was Nguyen Thi Dieu Linh, Provincial Program Manager of the joint operations of Project RENEW and the Norwegian People’s Aid in Vietnam. She also is the Manager of Project RENEW’s All-Women Demining Team. Ms. Linh was born and raised in Quang Tri province, where the former demilitarized zone divided North and South Viet Nam from 1954 to 1975. The area experienced some of the heaviest bombing in world history.

Nguyen Thi Dieu Linh (right) being toasted by Vietnam’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son ((left) at the UN Security Council Debate.
Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam

While the war ended nearly 46 years ago, she said explosive ordinance can still be found in rice fields, schoolyards and residential areas. Since 1975, nearly 3,500 people have been killed and 5,000 injured by explosive remnants of war in Quang Tri province alone. Having worked in mine action for 12 years, she called on Governments to increase national capacity and ownership to ensure the success of results.

In addition, national and international actors should coordinate closely at operational, management and policy levels, she said, pointing out that such cooperation in Quang Tri led to real results: 600 villages surveyed, 21 million square meters of land cleared, 748,000 explosive items destroyed, and 900,000 people supported. Frequent documentation and sharing of lessons learned, along with women’s involvement in all aspects of mine action, are similarly crucial. “I hope mine action remains on the agenda of the international community, and that the recommendations I have made are well considered,” she stressed.

SOURCE: United Nations Security Council

A video of Ms. Linh’s full briefing (presented in English) can be seen here.