Australian Ambassador Robyn Mudie and female Vietnamese peacekeepers in front of vehicles equipped for the U.N. mission in Africa.

Ambassador Mudie arrived at the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations at the invitation from the department Director Major General Hoang Kim Phung to discuss bilateral defense cooperation and meet with female peacekeepers who have been deployed overseas or are preparing to deploy. 

Also marking the importance of Vietnam Women’s Day during the visit, Ambassador Mudie spoke to the peacekeepers about the roles of women in society and the opportunities and challenges those roles represent. The female peacekeepers in turn shared their perspective on women in the military and in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations and the opportunities and challenges they faced.

Ambassador Mudie is a strong supporter of gender equality, women’s empowerment, and women in leadership. While talking to the female peacekeepers, Ambassador Mudie complimented the important role in different fields and peacekeeping missions, “As part of the first generation of Vietnam’s peacekeeping deployments, you are contributing to Vietnam’s history and the global story of women’s vital role in peace and security. In the peacekeeping environment you are safe to approach for women and girls, you are a comfortable and dignified source of medical and health care and you understand what weighs on women’s minds.”

She added that Australia is proud to have provided strategic airlift support to all three of Vietnam’s Level 2 Field Hospitals which have deployed to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan. Vietnam’s peacekeeping in Africa complements its important role as a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council for the 2020-2021 term. Australia recognizes Vietnam’s key role as the co-chair of the ADMM+ Expert Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations and is pleased that Vietnam has been including women, peace and security as a key topic in this forum.

Major General Hoang Kim Phung, Director of VNDPKO, gives Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Robyn Mudie a "Non la" (Vietnam's traditional conical hat) as a gift for her visit.

Vietnam Women’s Day begins gender month for the Australian Embassy, highlighting the importance of gender equality and empowering women and girls across the breadth of Australia’s development, diplomatic, trade and commercial and people to people priorities in its partnership with Vietnam.

Reported by Chung Anh