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Vietnam considers sending more female soldiers to UN peacekeeping missions

November 27, 2020 | 11:18

The Ministry of National Defence will maintain and consider raising the proportion of Vietnamese female soldiers in UN peacekeeping operations.

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The symposium on the role of women and prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic in peacekeeping operations was co-organised by the Ministry of National Defence and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Photo: VnExpress

The Ministry of National Defence will maintain and consider raising the proportion of Vietnamese female soldiers in UN peacekeeping operations, Deputy Minister Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien told an international symposium on November 26.

The symposium on the role of women and prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic in peacekeeping operations was co-organised by the defence ministry and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Chien said Vietnam officially joined UN peacekeeping operations in 2014. In January 2018, the country sent the first female staff officer to the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.

In October 2018, the country successfully deployed the first level-two field hospital to the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in Bentiu, with 10 female out of 63 officers, health workers and doctors.

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A female staff officer speaks to foreign delegates at the conference on the role of women and prevention of COVID-19 pandemic in peacekeeping operations held on November 26. Photo: VNA

The rate is higher than the target set by the UN, he said, stressing that Vietnamese female soldiers are appreciated by the UN for their professionalism, ability to fulfil missions and becoming a highlight in many UN activities in field missions.

Chien said it would be difficult to maintain female soldiers' sustainable participation in the UN peacekeeping force and to meet the increasing demand of the UN, especially amid the pandemic.

The pandemic has made women’s military life even more challenging, but these would be the problems of every country sending troops to peacekeeping activities.

The ministry has directed agencies to ensure preferential treatment policies to help women feel secure to participate in peacekeeping and improve the quality of work, according to the officer.

UNDP Resident Representative Caitlin Wiesen said women’s participation in peacekeeping not only demonstrates gender equality but also supports UN missions to fulfill their tasks in diverse communities. /.

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