Major General Hoang Kim Phung, Director of the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations, said that from June 2014 to December 2020, the country sent 179 officers and employees from the Ministry of National Defence to UN peacekeeping missions in South Sudan and the Central African Republic and to UN headquarters in New York. They consisted of 53 officers deployed individually and 126 doctors and medical workers deployed at level-2 field hospitals.
The Level-2 Field Hospital No 2 in South Sudan has been operating effectively, continuing to prove its specialised capability and high sense of responsibility, and becoming a trustworthy source of support in terms of healthcare for UN staff in the area, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Phung said.
He added that the UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations and the military advisor to the UN Secretary-General have sent letters thanking the Vietnamese Government for its healthcare contributions.
The UN also holds Vietnam in high regard in terms of the percentage of female personnel in peacekeeping operations under UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security. Over the last six years, the country has sent 20 servicewomen to level-2 field hospitals and four to other peacekeeping operations, higher than the 15 percent recommended by the UN, according to Phung.
In 2020, he said, three officers from the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations passed examinations to become staff members of the policy making division at the UN Department of Peace Operations in New York and a coordination officer for military affairs at the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic.
Vietnam is preparing a team of over 300 sappers to join UN peacekeeping operations this year, the major general added.
Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung described the figure of nearly 180 officers deployed to peacekeeping operations as a considerable symbol of a Vietnam marked by reforms and which is a trustworthy partner and a responsible member of the international community, thus helping to promote the country’s stature in the global arena.
Vietnam’s active participation in UN peacekeeping operations has helped assert the Party and State’s foreign policy of multilateralisation and diversification of external relations, independence, self-reliance, and respect for the UN’s goals and principles, thereby contributing to the building of a sustainable peace, he went on.
Trung added that many countries, especially major countries, now wish to strengthen cooperation with Vietnam in UN peacekeeping operations so as to help expand and intensify ties with the Southeast Asian nation.
On November 13 last year, as part of its 10th session, the 14th-tenure National Assembly adopted Resolution No 130/2020/QH14 on participation in UN peacekeeping forces, which will take effect on July 1, 2021.
The Prime Minister has issued an implementation plan that identifies the responsibilities of and assigns tasks to ministries and Government agencies to ensure that the resolution will be carried out in a timely, concerted, uniform, and effective manner.
Trung held that the Vietnam People’s Army’s proactive engagement in and active contribution to UN peacekeeping operations have initially achieved set targets, including helping to raise the country’s position and voice in the settlement of international affairs, further enhance the prestige of its armed forces, and benefit the enhancement of ties with foreign partners in security and defence./.