Peacekeepers make significant contributions to people-to-people diplomacy
Vietnamese peacekeeping force has made effective and important contributions to the country's people-to-people exchanges, one of the three pillars of the country's comprehensive and modern diplomacy.
Since Vietnam officially joined the UN peacekeeping operation in June 2014, the country has sent more than 500 officers and soldiers to “hotbeds” in Africa.
According to Nguyen Phuong Nga, President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations and former head of the Permanent Delegation of Vietnam to the UN, the participation of the Vietnam People's Army in peacekeeping activities has introduced a very positive image of the nation to people across the globe, helping to strengthen international solidarity and support for Vietnam.
Through people-to-people diplomacy channels, international friends greatly appreciate Vietnam's excellent engagement in and completion of UN peacekeeping operations, she noted.
Over the past eight years, Vietnam has increased the number of its peacekeepers in UN operations, maintaining the presence of a level-2 field hospital at the UN Mission in South Sudan since 2018. In particular, the percentage of Vietnamese female participants is always higher than the level called for by the UN.
Vietnam has been actively engaged in international cooperation in this field and organized many international conferences and seminars on peacekeeping. Vietnamese officers have completed their tasks well, and are much appreciated by the UN and the host country for their capacity and professionalism.
Vietnam has brought about a very new approach, that is, the peacekeeping force not only fulfills its tasks but also stays close with and helpful to local people. Information and images about the dedicated Vietnamese military medical soldiers, who wholeheartedly took care of the sick, planted vegetables, sewed and distributed face masks during the COVID-19 epidemic, have contributed to boosting Vietnam's image and affirms the blue berets' role as messengers of peace and friendship.