Việt Nam committed to UN peacekeeping mission
Việt Nam’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 Defence has said.
Speaking at the conference to review experience from taking part in UN peacekeeping operations on Thursday, Major General Hoàng Kim Phụng, Director of the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations, said Việt Nam 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.
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, Việt Nam 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, Việt Nam 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 per cent of the average rate compared to the UN’s rate of less than 10 per cent; 45 female soldiers at the Level 2 Field Hospital, accounting for 16-21 per cent compared to the UN's average rate of 12 per cent; and 21 in engineering teams while other countries did not have female soldiers in these team.
Phụng said the UN spoke highly of Việt Nam’s high rate of female participation, and asked the Ministry of National Defence and the leaders of the United Nations to co-chair the International Conference on Women with UN peacekeeping activities to be held in Việt Nam in the fourth quarter of this year.
Hoàng Xuân Chiến, Deputy Minister of National Defence 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 Việt Nam's capabilities.
Through UN peacekeeping activities, Việt Nam 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, Chiến emphasised Việt Nam'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 Việt Nam's UN peacekeeping force in a disciplined and highly professional manner, and building the Vietnam Department of Peace Operations to be a training centre to improve UN peacekeeping capacity.
The Ministry of National Defence 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 Việt Nam’s UN peacekeeping operations.
Chiến 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 Trịnh Ngọc 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.