Vietnam has plans to upgrade its UN peacekeeping training center into a regional facility for the Asia-Pacific region at the UN’s suggestion, VnExpress reported, citing Major General Hoang Kim Phung, head of Vietnam’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations under the Ministry of Defense.
Vietnam joined the peacekeeping force later than many countries, but the country’s engagement has been praised by others and the UN, Mr. Phung stressed.
Since joining the UN peacekeeping missions six years ago, Vietnam has dispatched hundreds of officials to missions in South Sudan and the Central African Republic, working in the Movement Control section at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
Of the 30 officers who completed their mission and returned, ten were rated excellent on 11 of the 11 criteria (representing 33%) at the end of their term. This rate is usually 1-2% for military personnel from other countries.
|Major General Hoang Kim Phung, head of Vietnam’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations under the Ministry of Defense|
The UN also appreciated the high level of Vietnamese female participation in peacekeeping efforts, as there are ten women who work in peacekeeping in field hospitals out of a total of 63 officers (15.8%). Meanwhile, the ratio of female officers to military personnel from other countries is 5-10%.
“It can be said that the excellent results of the Vietnamese officers joining the missions have proven our ability and impressed others,” Mr. Phung said.
He added that if it comes into existence, the center in Vietnam will train, share experiences and enhance the capacity of military personnel and this will be expanded to provide training in all aspects of peacekeeping.
"Several countries have expressed excitement at this initiative by Vietnam, and they are waiting for the UN and Vietnam to come up with a suitable model for the center so that they could participate in," said the head of Vietnam’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
Moreover, in April 2018, a UN inspection team carried out a survey at Vietnam’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations and expressed that they were much interested in the idea. They said Vietnam has trained forces that are in line with the UN’s criteria, capacity and soft skills.
Besides, Vietnamese officers have very good political and disciplined qualities and the UN selected the Vietnam Peacekeeping Department as one of the four ASEAN centers meeting international standards for the three-side cooperation program of the UN - Japan - Vietnam.
According to Vietnam’s Deputy Defense Minister Senior Lieutenant-General Nguyen Chi Vinh, the UN assessed that although “Vietnam is still a poor country which faces with many difficulties, its peacekeeping force has completed the task very well thanks to the personal capabilities of the officers."
“Therefore, they want Vietnam to be an example in assisting other countries in training their officers in peacekeeping tasks, under the auspices of the UN," Vinh said.
Furthermore, the UN also agreed that Vietnam would host a conference on the role of women in peacekeeping operations. This is a conference of military leaders of more than 100 countries participating in peacekeeping and scheduled to be held in late 2020.
Earlier, at an online meeting in July with Lieutenant-General Nguyen Chi Vinh, UN Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support Atul Khare said the UN supports Vietnam’s plan to set up the center and called on the country to work with UN agencies to define its functions, tasks and organizational structure.
The UN official also praised Vietnam’s second Level II field Hospital for taking Covid-19 prevention measures and called on Vietnam to further assist the UN Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan.