Deputy Minister of Defence, Sr Lt Gen Nguyen Chi Vinh,
Colleagues from the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (UNDPKO) and the Japanese Ministry of Defence,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my honour to welcome all of you to this event jointly hosted by the Ministry of National Defence and the United Nations Development Programme in Viet Nam on Enhancing Viet Nam’s Capacity for United Nations Peacekeeping Operations.
It is indeed a great honour for me to co-host this important conference with Deputy Minister of National Defence, Sr Lt Gen Nguyen Chi Vinh. I’m personally very pleased to see this conference happen since I was the one who raised the need for it with him as an important and necessary step towards ensuring a coherent long-term strategy for Viet Nam’s global peacekeeping efforts.
I would also like to especially welcome the participation of three important expert representatives from overseas: one from the Integrated Training Service – UN Department of Field Services who is based in Uganda, another from the Police Division of the UNDPKO based in New York, and a third expert from the Capacity Building Assistance Office, International Policy Division, Japanese Ministry of Defence. They have all travelled long distances to join us today. I would like to thank them for doing so.
We are here today, first of all, to appraise and express our warm congratulations on the recent impressive effort of Viet Nam in its global peacekeeping efforts. In the period 2014-2018, Viet Nam has deployed 29 turns of officers as liaison officers, military staff officers, intelligence collection analysts and military observers to South Sudan and Central African Republic including two military advisers who left this week. In 2017, Viet Nam sent its first female officer, Major Do Thi Hang Nga, to join the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan. This was a positive step by Viet Nam, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security. And last but not least, on 1 October 2018, 63 doctors, nurses and technicians, including a number of women, were deployed together with the Level 2 Hospital to South Sudan. Viet Nam is obviously contributing more and more significantly to global peacekeeping.
In parallel with this increased effort by Viet Nam, on behalf of the UN and UNDP in Viet Nam, I was pleased to receive the request from the Ministry of National Defence Viet Nam last year for support on peacekeeping, including on establishing appropriate legal frameworks, as well as to facilitate Vietnamese deployment to peacekeeping missions, and build the capacity of Viet Nam’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations to provide quality training to Vietnamese troops and those of other countries.
Our cooperation was formalized in a meeting between Vice Minister of National Defence, Sr. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh and UN Assistant Secretary General Haoliang Xu of UNDP in New York on 13 October 2017. At the meeting UNDP agreed to support the Government of Viet Nam in the following areas:
- Capacity building for participation in UN Peacekeeping missions.
- Support with resource mobilization and coordination from international and national development partners
- Long-term strategic advice and support for Viet Nam to develop the VNDPKO Training Center to become a regional centre.
To follow-up on this positive momentum, the UN in Viet Nam has been pleased to work with UNDPKO to prepare an advanced draft of a strategic advisory paper that Brig. Gen. Farooque Choudhury (retired from the Bangladesh Military but now a senior UN DPKO official) from DFS – UNDPKO will present later in some detail. I would like to echo the appreciation of VM Vinh for the paper because I strongly believe that this paper, for the first time, provides key findings, analysis and recommendations for improving the capacity of Viet Nam to participate in global peacekeeping, in the most strategic and comprehensive manner. UN member states and other members of the international community who are providing support to Viet Nam in this area are encouraged to read this paper and to coordinate more closely with the UN in Viet Nam to ensure that their support to Viet Nam on peacekeeping is more coherent, holistic, strategic, efficient and sustainable in the medium to long-term.
I hope that the conference will lead to fruitful discussions around important themes to support Viet Nam’s strategy on global peacekeeping including but not limited to: Gender and the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse; UN recruitment policies including those on rotation, remuneration packages, and coordination of international support; language training, as well as partnership mechanisms to support Viet Nam.
On this occasion, I would also like to express our pleasure to learn about the initial steps taken by Viet Nam’s public security sector and their willingness to consider committing their forces to global peacekeeping. In the coming days, the UN Police representative here from New York will conduct bilateral meetings with the Ministry of Public Security to have discussions on the potential for and best manner in which productive preparations can take place in Viet Nam prior to their sending police for peacekeeping missions.
Finally, I wish to reiterate the commitment of the UN in Viet Nam to continue to support the Government of Viet Nam in this important area. We look forward to strong coordination and cooperation with UN member states and other partners as we move forward in this critical area for global peace and security.
Thank you. Xin Cam on.