Viet Nam's peacekeepers ‘at the ready'
VietNamNet Bridge – In an effort to share in the responsibility for world peace, Viet Nam will officially join United Nations peacekeeping operations next year, Major General Vu Tien Trong said.
He was speaking at a seminar for new countries contributing troops to the UN operation, which was co-hosted by Viet Nam and the Republic of Korea, in the central city of Da Nang yesterday, July 18.
The seminar aims to have those countries with extensive experience participating in the UN peacekeeping operations share their knowledge with new countries contributing to the UN mission.
"It's the first time that Viet Nam will send troops to contribute to the UN peacekeeping operations. We hope that the lessons and experience gained by other countries will help Viet Nam effectively and responsibly contribute to the UN non-military missions in the future," Trong told Viet Nam News.
"The seminar will help Viet Nam prepare troop to take on peacekeeping missions around the world. We hope that other countries will share with us their experience, lessons and challenges in deploying peacekeeping troops."
He said a delegation from Viet Nam had surveyed South Sudan and the ongoing UN peacekeeping mission in the war-torn country, but the final decision on sending troops to the area has yet to be decided.
"It's a great news for Viet Nam. The Vietnamese Government's contribution to the UN peacekeeping operations is a good way to deal with the world crisis," said Lt Colonel Kentaro Nagayoshi of the UN Military Planning Service.
"We are here to provide assistance to Viet Nam for future peacekeeping operations. We can share information and experience on deploying peacekeeping troops."
Colonel Chi Logronio, Defence attache of the Phillipines' Embassy in Viet Nam said Viet Nam would face challenges in deploying peacekeeping forces in the future.
"It's hard work. Viet Nam should prepare effectively for sending peacekeeping troop around the world. It requires training personnel in medical services, engineering and the English language," he said.
"Viet Nam should learn from the experience of other countries at the seminar on how to deploy peacekeeping troops for next year."
Oh Nak Young, Minister and Consul General from the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, said he was happy to see Viet Nam take part in the UN peacekeeping operation next year.
"South Korea has a long history and much experience participating in UN peacekeeping operations. Many ASEAN countries are looking to join the UN peacekeeping operations, and we hope to see more countries in the region participating in world peacekeeping missions," he said.
Lt Colonel Mac Duc Trong, from the Institute for Defence International Relations, spoke at the seminar, "Viet Nam's leaders have considered joining the UN peacekeeping operations since 2005. We received assistance from the UK and Australia in 2005 with English training courses and study in UN peacekeeping operations."
"We need assistance to build a peacekeeping training centre in Viet Nam as part of preparation for deploying troops, personnel training, anti-mining and medical services."
He said that the Viet Nam People's Army has experience in military medical care systems and mine clearance.
The one-day seminar drew 60 members from ASEAN countries, and representatives from the US, UK, Australia, India, South Korea and the United Nations.