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UN Security Council members observe moment of silence over Iranian president's death

Anadolu Agency WORLD
Published May 20,2024

UN Security Council members on Monday observed a moment of silence over the deaths of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and other senior government officials in a tragic helicopter crash.

As requested by Russia, China and Algeria, a moment of silence was held at a Council session on the prevention of arms race in outer space and outer space security.

Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, and other officials died as the helicopter they were onboard went down in Iran's northwestern mountainous East Azerbaijan province on Sunday afternoon.

Following member states paying their respects, Izumi Nakamitsu, the top UN official for disarmament, told the Council members that military aid and arms supplies to Ukraine have continued in recent months, adding that information on these supplies can be accessed from open sources.

Noting that transfers include heavy conventional weapons, battle tanks, combat aircraft, helicopters, ammunition, and small arms, she said that there are countries supplying weapons to Russia and highlighted reports that the Russian army has received drones, ballistic missiles, and ammunition.

"There must be an immediate end to the use of these inherently indiscriminate weapons, which have a devastating and long-lasting humanitarian impact on civilians," she said.

Emphasizing that Ukraine has become one of the most heavily mined countries in the world, Nakamitsu said clearing these mines would "require decades of clearance efforts with the support of the international community to make sure communities are safe from the threat of mines."

Nakamitsu further expressed concern over the increase in civilian casualties in the last two months of Russia's war on Ukraine, stating that most of the casualties were caused by the use of explosive weapons in densely populated areas.