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Women peacekeepers help find peace solutions: G4
G4 Embassies 18:12, 2021/02/11
Women peacekeepers are believed to have a great role in mediation and finding peace solutions that work for all.

Embassies of Canada, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland (G4) have highlighted the importance of Vietnam’s women peacekeepers, affirming their roles in making a fairer and better world.

Jan Wilhelm Grythe, Charge d’Affaires (1st left), Embassy of Norway in Vietnam, Deborah Paul, Ambassador of Canada to Vietnam, Ivo Sieber, Ambassador of Switzerland to Vietnam, and Joseph Mayhew, Charge d’Affaires, Embassy of New Zealand in Vietnam. Photo: G4 Embassies  

Representatives of the embassies have conveyed the message on the occasion of Tet holiday [the Lunar New Year] when they visited the Ministry of National Defense’s Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations (VDPO) a few days before the traditional holidays which begin from February 11 to 17. 

 The diplomats wish "peace" for the world.

Above all, the Ambassadors and Charge d’Affaires pledged to fully support Vietnam’s increasing engagement in peacekeeping missions abroad.

 Joseph Mayhew, Charge d’Affaires, Embassy of New Zealand in Vietnam.

Joseph Mayhew, Charge d’Affaires, Embassy of New Zealand in Vietnam, said they are happy to be celebrating Tet holiday this year with Vietnam’s peacekeepers.

“We congratulate and fully support Vietnam’s increasing engagement in peacekeeping missions abroad. We are inspired by the extraordinary stories of women peacekeepers during their deployment to South Sudan.”

Like Vietnam, other countries are strong supporters of peacekeeping as well as of gender equality and women’s engagement. A world in which women can endorse varied roles is not only a fairer world, it is also a better world. 

“G4 countries continue to promote the rights of women and girls, including of those living in areas affected by conflict,” Joseph Mayhew stressed.

 Jan Wilhelm Grythe, Charge d’Affaires, Embassy of Norway in Vietnam.

Jan Wilhelm Grythe, Charge d’Affaires, Embassy of Norway in Vietnam, said that clearly women can perform the same roles as their male counterparts. Women represent half of the population and often have better understanding of what happens at the grassroots level.

This is particularly true in modern conflicts where civilians are the targets of sexual and gender-based violence is used as a tactic of war. Women are not just victims of conflicts. They are also front liners, decision makers, and shapers of all peace efforts. 

He emphasized that “Having a high female percentage  in peace processes can help increase trust and success. This is not a matter of right, but also a matter of getting effective results. Failure to include women is not smart! No peace without women!”  

 Deborah Paul, Ambassador of Canada to Vietnam.

Deborah Paul, Ambassador of Canada to Vietnam, said that women make up only 5.4% of UN military peacekeepers. Many still encounter social exclusion, prejudice, and harassment.

“It’s important that we listen to the experience of women peacekeepers. And here is what we have heard that they are able to access different segments of the civilian population than their men counterparts. That they have as much desire as men to be deployed in  UN peace operations. And that these deployments have often been a highlight of their careers.”

One initiative to increase women’s meaningful participation in UN peace operations is the Elsie Initiative. It counts on partners all around the world. Particularly in these challenging times, diversity in UN peace operations is a key factor in increasing their effectiveness.

 Ivo Sieber, Ambassador of Switzerland to Vietnam.

Ivo Sieber, Ambassador of Switzerland to Vietnam, believes that to accomplish inclusive peace efforts and to assure women’s full participation in peace, processes need more work.

Their involvement from peacekeeping to peace-building must be ensured, including prevention, mediation and finding peace solutions that work for all.

“Today, we’re here to support Vietnam’s women peacekeepers. We want to highlight our and their commitment to women’s active participation in UN peacekeeping operations and in peace processes around the world. This is the only way lasting peace can be achieved. Each of us has her or his own hopes for the New Year. But we all share in our wish for peace, especially for women and girls and above all, for a peaceful world. Peace is not exclusive and neither should be the path to achieve it.

 The diplomats wish a happy, prosperous and peaceful New Year to all.

Vietnam began peacekeeping missions in 2014. Between June 2014 and December 2020, the country dispatched 179 officers and staff to missions in South Sudan and the Central African Republic and work in the UN’s Department of Peace Operations, according to Major Gen. Hoang Kim Phung, head of the VDPO.

According to Sen. Lt. Gen Nguyen Chi Vinh, Deputy Minister of National Defense, peacekeeping continues to be one of the pillars of Vietnam's defense diplomacy and regarded as a focal point in the army’s multilateralism. The country plans to dispatch a group of 295 engineer officers for peacekeeping missions in 2021.    

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