The conference, “Enhancing the capacity of Viet Nam in UN peacekeeping operations” was co-organized by the Ministry of National Defence - Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and with significant support from the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations – Department of Field Support (UNDPKO-DFS) and Police Division.

Discussion at the conference focused on important themes to support Viet Nam’s strategy on global peacekeeping, including Gender and Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse; policies on rotation, remuneration package as well as coordination of international support, language training and partnership mechanisms to support Viet Nam. In particular, a Discussion Paper on Viet Nam’s strategy to enhance its global peacekeeping role was tabled.

Illustration for photo. (Source: VNA)
The Discussion Paper, developed by UNDP at the request of the Ministry of Defence and in close consultation with Viet Nam DPKO and UNDPKO-DFS, identified priorities for Viet Nam’s engagement in UN peacekeeping during 2019-2025 and areas of collaboration between the Government and international partners in Viet Nam.

To meet Viet Nam’s objectives to efficiently deploy and perform in missions as well as make Viet Nam DPKO a regional training hub and Centre of Excellence for peacekeeping training, the Discussion Paper identified a number of key challenges that needed to be addressed, including financial challenges, incomplete legal and policy framework, language skills, pre-deployment training capacity and mindset.

“I highly appreciate the Discussion Paper for having defined the fundamental challenges, which are very close to the reality that Viet Nam has been working to address,” Vice Minister of National Defence of Viet Nam, Sr. LG. Nguyen Chi Vinh, told the conference.

The Discussion Paper offered 14 recommendations for Viet Nam to achieve a high degree of professionalism and motivation to operate in difficult terrain with sound leadership at a tactical level.

Mr. Kamal Malhotra, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Viet Nam, said the Discussion Paper provided key findings and recommendations to enhance the capacity of Viet Nam to participate in global peacekeeping in the most strategic and comprehensive way.  He called on UN member states and community to provide support to Viet Nam in this area and coordinate with the UN to make the support most coherent, holistic, strategic and efficient.

“The UN in Viet Nam had the honour to receive a request from the Ministry of National Defence to support peacekeeping, including legal procedures, to facilitate the deployment to peacekeeping missions, build the capacity of Viet Nam DPKO to provide quality trainings to Vietnamese troops and those of other countries,” said Mr. Kamal Malhotra.

During 2014-2018, Viet Nam deployed 29 officers to United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (UNPKO) in South Sudan and the Central African Republic. In 2017, Viet Nam sent its first female officer, Major Do Thi Hang Nga, to the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.

On October 1st 2018, Viet Nam deployed its first level two field hospital contingent to the UN Mission in South Sudan. The second level two field hospital for rotation is being prepared for deployment in 2019. It is intended that Viet Nam scales up its involvement in UNPKOs in non-combat fields, including engineering, construction, logistics, demining and medicine.

Mr. Kamal Malhotra congratulated Viet Nam on its “impressive” global peacekeeping effort. He praised the deployment of the first female officer as a positive step by Viet Nam, in line with the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security. “Viet Nam has obviously contributed more and more significantly to global peacekeeping,” he said.

The international conference was attended by leaders from the Ministry of National Defence, Office of the President, Office of the Government, relevant committees of the National Assembly, Departments from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Public Security. Heads of Missions and Defence Attaches from relevant embassies and representatives of UNDPKO, UN Police and UNDP were also present./.

Khac Kien