Female UN Peacekeepers Act as Role Models for Vietnamese Youth
In Hanoi, the Ministry of National Defence of Vietnam in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program in Vietnam (UNDP) organized the International Conference on Women with UN peacekeeping operations on November 26.
The conference was hosted by Deputy Defence Minister, Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien, who is also head of the Ministry of National Defence's steering committee for the participation in UN peacekeeping operations, and the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix.
|Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien. Photo: Thanh Luan.|
Speaking at the conference, Deputy Minister of National Defense Hoang Xuan Chien said that since 2014, Vietnam has sent forces to participate in UN peacekeeping operations. This is a breakthrough in order to realize the foreign policy of the country. In addition, it also marks a change in quality in multilateral cooperation activities as well as in defense and security.
Up to now, more than 70 out of 512 members deployed to the UN peacekeeping mission are female, including 9 ones deployed individually, 21 ones being members of Vietnam's Engineering Unit Rotation 1 and 45 female soldiers from Vietnam's level II field hospitals.
According to Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien, this is an encouraging rate, but Vietnam is aware of difficulties facing with the country in order to have sustainable participation of women in the peacekeeping force, and to meet the increasing requirements of United Nations.
"Vietnam is committed to making efforts to promote the Agenda of Women, Peace and Security, especially the role of women in UN peacekeeping operations," he said.
|the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix. Photo: Thanh Luan.|
The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix thanked and appreciated Vietnam's increasingly active and effective participation in UN peacekeeping operations, including many female soldiers.
The increasing number of Vietnamese soldiers sent out, including female engineers and military medical staff deployed at a field hospital in South Sudan, has significantly helped and made a difference for localities.
"Female UN peacekeepers build a greater trust for community and they are role models for local women and girls", said Sir Jean-Pierre Lacroix.
He affirmed that there are no barriers in the UN peacekeeping missions and many female soldiers are now taking great responsibilities in the missions.
Affirming the importance of UN peacekeeping missions in maintaining security, preventing conflicts, and building sustainable peace, Sir Jean-Pierre Lacroix believed that with their dedication and excellent professional qualifications, Vietnamese officers as well as female ones shall continue to make effective contributions to the world peacekeeping mission.
|Photo: Thanh Luan.|
The conference also shared the main contributions of other countries, international organizations and experience to build a future roadmap for the participation of more Vietnamese female soldiers in the UN peacekeeping activities. It also promotes and further concretizes the theme of Women, Peace and Security during the tenure of Vietnam and Japan co-chairing a group of experts on UN peacekeeping, cycle 4, period 2021-2023, within the framework of the expanded ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting.
Additonally, many learned about women in peacekeeping efforts. Officals shared their experiences in deploying women to participate in peacekeeping operations and made recommendations to promote the deployment of women to participate in UN peacekeeping operations, including: the establishment of a network of women peacekeepers in the region, or a commitment to assist Vietnam in establishing a Center to promote the participation of women (including policewomen) in UN peacekeeping operations.
According to Major General Hoang Kim Phung, Director of the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations, in January 2018, Vietnam sent its first female officer to participate in UN peacekeeping operations. The percentage of women working in individual forms of Vietnam currently works out at 20%.
In May 2022, Vietnam successfully sent the Light Engineer Team to the UNISFA Mission in Abyei, Republic of Sudan. The percentage of women in the Engineer Team is nearly 12%.
Up to now, Vietnam has achieved a high percentage of female soldiers participating in UN peacekeeping operations compared to the general rate. 100% of Vietnam's female officers and officers volunteered to go on a mission to carry out UN peacekeeping missions. Many female soldiers are willing to continue to be deployed to the localities after the end of their term.
At the missions, Vietnamese female soldiers have held many different positions such as military observers, combat staff officers, training staff officers, doctors, nurses, etc. They were appreciated by the United Nations to have successfully and excellently completed the task after the end of the term.
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