Vietnam’s military forces, with a high rate of female officers and soldiers participating in UN peacekeeping operations, have demonstrated professionalism, discipline and international solidarity, especially the ability to quickly adapt to harsh environments and complete the UN’s requests, the Ministry of National Defense has said.
Speaking at the conference to review experience from taking part in UN peacekeeping operations on Thursday, Major General Hoang Kim Phung, Director of the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations, said Vietnam has successfully deployed 512 officers and soldiers to South Sudan, Central African Republic, Abyei and UN headquarters since it officially joined UN peacekeeping forces in 2014.
|Female officers and soldiers participating in UN peacekeeping operations__Photo: VNA
The Vietnamese forces have been fulfilling their tasks and received a very high evaluation from UN leaders and the international community.
Notably, in 2020, four officers of the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations were appointed by the UN as representatives, including three officers working at the Department of Peace Operations in the UN headquarters and one working at the UN peacekeeping mission in charge of coordinating military operations with the Government of the Central African Republic.
Since October 2018, Vietnam has deployed four Level 2 field hospitals to South Sudan. The hospitals have all successfully completed their tasks, proving professional competence, high sense of responsibility, and being a reliable support for the healthcare of UN employees.
In particular, in May, the country sent the first Engineer Team with 184 professional officers and soldiers and nearly 2,000 tons of equipment to the United Nations Interim Security Force Mission in Abyei (UNISFA).
Over the past eight years, Vietnam has deployed a total of 74 female soldiers to participate in UN peacekeeping operations. Of those, eight female officers have participated as individuals for independent operation, accounting for 20 percent of the average rate compared to the UN’s rate of less than 10 percent; 45 female soldiers at the Level 2 Field Hospital, accounting for 16-21 percent compared to the UN's average rate of 12 percent; and 21 in engineering teams while other countries did not have female soldiers in these team.
Phung said the UN spoke highly of Vietnam’s high rate of female participation, and asked the Ministry of National Defense and the leaders of the United Nations to co-chair the International Conference on Women with UN peacekeeping activities to be held in Vietnam in the fourth quarter of this year.
Hoang Xuan Chien, Deputy Minister of National Defense and head of the Steering Committee on UN peacekeeping operation participation, said apart from achievements, there were still shortcomings and limitations.
"We have learned a number of lessons in preparing human resources, equipment and means to meet the requirements of the UN," he said.
He also noted that the form and scope of participation should be suitable to Vietnam's capabilities.
Through UN peacekeeping activities, Vietnam can take advantage of funding from international partners in building and improving the capacity of the country’s UN peacekeeping forces.
In order to continue taking part in UN peacekeeping operations effectively, Chien emphasized Vietnam's UN peacekeeping activities must be a priority in diplomatic activities of the Party, State, the army, police and people.
He suggested that agencies and units continue to advise the Party and State on the work of directing, managing, commanding and operating forces outside the mission, ensuring internal political security for Vietnamese forces participating in UN peacekeeping activities, building capacity for Vietnam's UN peacekeeping force in a disciplined and highly professional manner, and building the Vietnam Department of Peace Operations to be a training center to improve UN peacekeeping capacity.
The Ministry of National Defense needed to closely coordinate with the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other ministries to build a National Coordination Centre for participation in UN peacekeeping activities, which would improve the effectiveness of Vietnam’s UN peacekeeping operations.
Chien also stressed the importance of promoting and improving the efficiency of international cooperation in UN peacekeeping to attract external resources, especially with partners with many strengths in resources, experience and technology in training work.
At the conference, Major General Trinh Ngoc Giao, Deputy Director of the ministry’s Military Department announced the decision on the establishment of Level 2 Field Hospital No 5 under the Military Medical Hospital 175 to participate in UN peacekeeping operations.- (VNS/VLLF)