|Delegate of the conference.
The conference, “Enhancing the capacity of Vietnam in UN peacekeeping operations” was co-organized by the Ministry of National Defence - Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and with the significant support from the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations – Department of Field Support (UNDPKO –DFS) and Police Division.
The conference heard an overview of Vietnam’s peacekeeping programme and priorities as well as experience, insights and supports from international partners to enhance Vietnam’s capacity and global peacekeeping role. In particular, a Discussion Paper on Vietnam’s strategy to enhance its global peacekeeping role was tabled.
The Discussion Paper, developed by UNDP at the request of the Ministry of Defense and in close consultation with Vietnam DPKO and UNDPKO-DFS, identified priorities for Vietnam’s engagement in UN peacekeeping in the period of 2019-2025, and areas of collaboration between the Government and international partners in Vietnam.
To meet Vietnam’s objectives to efficiently deploy and perform in missions as well as making Vietnam DPKO a regional training hub/ Centre of Excellence for peacekeeping training, the Discussion Paper identified a number of key challenges that need to be addressed, including Financial challenges; Incomplete legal and policy framework; Language skills; Pre-deployment training capacity; and Mind-set.
“I highly appreciate the Discussion Paper for having defined the fundamental challenges, which are very close to the reality that Vietnam has been working on,” said Vice Minister of Defense of Vietnam, Sr. LG. Nguyen Chi Vinh, at the conference.
The Discussion Paper offered 14 recommendations on what Vietnam needs to do to achieve high degree of professionalism, motivation to operate in difficult terrain conditions and sound leadership at the tactical level.
Mr. Kamal Malhotra, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam, expressed his strong belief that for the first time the Discussion Paper provided the key findings and recommendations for improving capacity of Vietnam in participating in global peacekeeping in the most strategic and comprehensive way. He called on UN member states and community providing support to Vietnam in this area to coordinate with the UN to make the support most coherent, holistic, strategic and efficient.
“The UN in Vietnam had the honor to receive the request from the Ministry of Defense for support on peacekeeping, including legal procedures, to facilitate the deployment to peacekeeping missions, building the capacity of the Vietnam DPKO to provide quality trainings to Vietnamese troops and those of other countries,” said Mr Kamal Malhotra.
In the 2014-2018 period, Vietnam has deployed 29 turns of officers to United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (UNPKO) in South Sudan and the Central African Republic. In 2017, Vietnam sent its first female officer, Major Do Thi Hang Nga, to the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.
On October 1st, 2018, Vietnam deployed its first level-two field hospital contingent to the UN Mission in South Sudan. The second Level-two field hospital for rotation is being prepared for deployment in 2019. It is intended that Vietnam scales up its involvement in UNPKOs in non-combat fields including engineering, construction, logistics, demining and medicine.
Mr. Kamal Malhotra congratulated Vietnam on its “impressive” global peacekeeping effort. He praised the deployment of the first female officer as a positive step by Vietnam, in line with the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security. “Vietnam has obviously contributed more and more significantly to the global peacekeeping,” he said.
The international conference was attended by Leaders of Ministry of Defence, Office of the President, Office of the Government, relevant Committees of the National Assembly, Departments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Public Security. Heads of Missions and Defense Attaches from relevant embassies and representatives of UNDPKO, UN Police and UNDP were also present.By Duy Tien