Vietnam is ready for peacekeeping mission
The establishment of the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations was a milestone for the development of the Vietnamese peacekeeping force, providing the conditions for Vietnamese “blue beret” officers to engage in the UN multilateral mechanisms
On the occasion of the 7th anniversary of the Vietnam Peacekeeping Centre, now the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations (May 27, 2014 - May 27, 2021), Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien, Deputy Minister of National Defense speaks to the media about the operation of the Vietnamese peacekeeping force.
The Vietnamese blue-beret officers off for a mission in South Sudan in October 2018.
Please tell us the significance of the establishment of the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations?
The establishment of the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations in 2014 was a milestone for the development of the Vietnamese peacekeeping force, providing the conditions for Vietnamese “blue beret” officers to engage in the United Nations (UN) multilateral mechanisms, a vivid illustration of high-ranking Vietnamese leaders’ commitment to the international community. The force has played an important role in boosting Vietnam’s multilateral diplomacy, particularly relations with the UN and many countries around the world.
Over the past seven years, the Department has performed its roles, functions and tasks very well, contributing to the Party's and State's foreign policy and defense diplomacy to enhance the position of the Party and State and that of the army.
What have been the outstanding results of Vietnam's UN peacekeeping activities since 2014?
Since the department’s establishment, 55 officers have been sent to work at the UN’s headquarters and missions while 189 doctors and medical workers have been dispatched to work at level-2 field hospitals in the Central African Republic and South Sudan.
Included in the peacekeeping force were 34 servicewomen, accounting for more than 16 percent of the total force, compared with the 10 percent required by the UNSC under its Resolution No 1325 on women and peace and security.
Vietnam has proactively participated in multilateral mechanisms of international organizations and partners, and has signed nine memoranda of understanding (MoUs) in the field of peacekeeping with countries, one MoU with the UN, and one with the EU. These are important documents since they shape political commitments in maintaining and promoting peacekeeping activities.
Four Vietnamese officers have participated in individual positions at the mission and the UN. Vietnam has three officers holding the positions of planning officer, general consultant, and training officer at the UN headquarters.
Another great achievement is that we are looking for opportunities to deploy forces in other fields and areas while perfecting the legal corridor.
The 14th National Assembly adopted Resolution No 130/2020/QH14 on participating in UN peacekeeping operations, laying a solid legal foundation for the force to carry out activities in line with Party and State foreign policies.
Deputy Minister of National Defense, Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien.
What plans will the Central Military Commission and the Ministry of Defense implement in the near future to contribute to UN peacekeeping activities?
Vietnam will continue to build and complete the legal framework for peacekeeping activities and the provisions of the law to ensure compatibility with international treaties. We will ask the UN as well as relevant international organizations to support us in implementing new activities and expanding the areas of participation.
A team of army engineers stands ready to join the UN mission, and the UN will inspect the team’s preparations in June. If the team is suitable for the mission, this will be a new milestone for the Vietnamese peacekeeping force.
We will also continue to select individuals who fully meet the conditions, standards and criteria required by the UN for training and retraining, especially in foreign languages and professional expertise to be ready to take the UN’s exams.
The Central Military Commission and the Ministry of Defense aim to develop the Department of Peacekeeping Operations into the National Coordination Center for Peacekeeping.
Along with the deployment of the field hospital level 2, the UN invited us to deploy the engineer team. The Central Military Commission and the Ministry of Defense have set up the engineer team with 290 official and 29 reserve members. The team has been trained in the fields of military knowledge, mines, engineering and foreign languages.
The UN has mentioned the possibility that Vietnam can deploy peacekeeping forces in the Central African Republic. If selected by the UN, once we are ready in terms of human resources and equipment, it can be deployed by the end of this year. It is expected that the percentage of female members in the team will be over 10% as the UN's proposal. Our preparations are relatively complete to be ready to welcome the UN survey team in June-July.
In the engineering team with more than 300 members, more than 30 are expected to be women. The female soldiers will take on positions such as clerical, interpreter, communication staff… When we set the target of recruiting 31 female members for the team, we received 61 volunteer letters.
The United Nations and many countries support and hope that Vietnam will develop the Department of Peacekeeping Operations into a training center which uses textbooks and training courses up to UN standards to foster and train the peacekeeping forces for countries in the region.
The Department of Peacekeeping Operations has organized 13 international training courses. In the future, with the investment of the Ministry of Defense and international support, I believe that we can achieve the goal of develop the Department of Peacekeeping Operations into a training center of regional and international stature.
The peacekeeping force of Vietnam has made considerable contributions over the past years, which have won the recognition and high evaluation from the United Nations and international friends,
Vietnam’s participation in UN peacekeeping operations is a major policy of the Party and State and also a step towards realising the country’s policy of intensive and comprehensive integration into the world.