Vietnamese 'peace ambassadors' join hands in protecting human rights

The United Nations has lauded Vietnam for its participation in and support and contributions to UN peacekeeping operations worldwide.
Viet Nam's contributions to UN peacekeeping operations highly appreciated
Since Vietnam officially joined the UN peacekeeping operation in June 2014, the country has sent more than 500 officers and soldiers to “hotbeds” in Africa. (Photo: VNA)

At a reception for a delegation of the National Assembly’s Committee for National Defence in the US in July, UN Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support Atul Khare highlighted Vietnam’s deployment of Engineering Unit Rotation 1 to the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), and Level-2 Field Hospital Rotation 4 to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), and personnel training through tripartite cooperation mechanisms.

The official expressed his hope that Vietnam will share its experience in training peacekeeping forces with other countries, especially those in the region.

In his visit to the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations in late November, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix also praised the services of UN peacekeeping forces from Vietnam, and expressed his belief that cooperation between the two sides in this sphere will be tightened and bear more fruits.

The praises reflect the international recognition of Vietnam’s engagement in peacekeeping operations over the past eight years, as well as the country’s contributions to ensuring human rights globally as peace and living in peace is a basic human right and the most important pillar for the protection and promotion of human rights.

Since Vietnam officially joined the UN peacekeeping operation in June 2014, the country has sent more than 500 officers and soldiers to “hotbeds” in Africa, who have overcome a host of difficulties and dangers, with some even sacrificing their life, to fulfill their missions of protecting peace, ensuring security and supporting vulnerable communities.

With the international spirit and good virtues of Uncle Ho's soldiers, the Vietnamese “peace ambassadors” have left good impressions on local residents and partners, and promoted the image of Vietnam as a friendly, peace-loving and humane country that stands ready to join hands in addressing issues facing the world.

The international community has commended Vietnamese peacekeeping forces for their efforts in protecting civilians in conflict-stricken areas, creating a firm foundation for the country to be elected as a member of the UN Human Rights Council for 2023-2025.

Apart from performing UN peacekeeping tasks, the Vietnamese soldiers and officers have also played a role in promoting human rights in host countries through a range of humanitarian activities such as taking care of and educating children, guiding locals to plant vegetables and fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Major Colonel Adam R. Lulay, Bilateral Affairs Officer from the US Office of Defence Cooperation, said the Vietnamese force’s performance in South Sudan is an example of medical assistance, especially amid the current challenges of the pandemic.

Vietnam has recorded an impressive percentage of women in UN peacekeeping operations. (Photo: VNA)
Vietnamese “peace ambassadors” have practically contributed to settling security issues, safeguarding peace and stability in the region and the world. (Photo: VNA)

Vietnam’s Engineering Unit Rotation 1 has been deployed to the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) with 184 sappers, three times more than a Level-2 field hospital and the biggest of its kind to join UN peacekeeping operations.

The Vietnamese sappers have been highly valued for their knowledge, professionalism and contributions to the community.

Endeavours of the Vietnamese “peace ambassadors” have been reflected through various figures, with nearly 20 road rescue operations conducted in security emergencies, and nearly 30 kilometres of canals and 200 metres of sewers built, helping more than 3,000 households escape from flooding in rainy seasons, among others activities.

The unit also coordinated with Pakistani soldiers to provide charity health checkups and treatment for local residents in the Amiet market area.

Major General Benjamin Olufemi Sawyerr, Commanding Officer of UNISFA, stressed the significance of the Vietnamese unit’s activities to the fulfillment of tasks by the mission, as well as the life of local residents.

In April, 63 members of Level-2 Field Hospital Rotation 4 headed to South Sudan. Three months later, the hospital inaugurated an obstetrics clinic and launched an action plan for the health of women in Bentiu. This is the first obstetrics clinic built by the hospital in UNMISS.

Dr. Nguyen Hong Hai, a researcher at the Centre for Policy Futures under the University of Queensland in Australia, told the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) that Vietnam’s participation in the UN peacekeeping operations has come from its sense of responsibility.

Therefore, the country has won the trust of the UN, partners and host countries, Hai noted.

Vietnam has gained a position and reputation in the international arena thanks to its contributions to the international community, the researcher said, mentioning the country’s engagement in the UN peacekeeping operations.

Former Secretary General of the France-Vietnam Friendship Association Jean-Pierre Archambault stressed that the Southeast Asian country has done a good job of ensuring the right to peace, national independence and the right to live. Over the past years, Vietnam has also actively joined humanitarian activities at the UN Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan which has been hailed by the UN and international community.

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc also emphasised that the dedication, responsibility and devotion of the Vietnamese “blue beret” soldiers have made the image of the Vietnamese land and people shine as those who love peace and support prosperity and development of humankind.

The “peace ambassadors” have practically contributed to settling security issues, safeguarding peace and stability in the region and the world, and protecting and promoting everyone’s right to enjoying peace, he said.

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