TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi has called for the importance of a ceasefire in all conflict areas during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The United Nations Security Council (DK PBB) has a moral obligation to protect civilians in armed conflict during the pandemic," said Retno Marsudi, in a written statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, received in Jakarta, on Thursday, May 28, 2020.
Retno’s statements were conveyed in an open United Nations Security Council video teleconference meeting, regarding the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, held on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has added on to the misery of civilians in conflict areas and (this) has made it even more difficult for us to protect civilians," Retno said.
Retno has identified three important steps that need to be done in order to protect civilians in armed conflict amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
First, Retno emphasized the importance for a humanitarian truce during the pandemic, as Indonesia supports the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ appeals to establish a global ceasefire in all conflict situations, including in Afghanistan.
"Indonesia, together with Norway, Germany, Qatar and Uzbekistan, launched a Joint Statement supporting the ceasefire in Afghanistan," Retno said.
Second, Retno stressed the importance of adhering to international humanitarian laws. "Palestine is not only facing the COVID-19 pandemic, but also the annexation that is still ongoing. Therefore, the international community must prevent further annexation of Palestine," Retno said.
Lastly, Retno called for women’s empowerment, as a crucial aspect in the protection of civilians, as according to Retno, women must be an inseparable part of the development and implementation of civil protection strategies.
ANTARA | DIO SUHENDA (INTERN TRANSLATOR)