The meeting was co-chaired by head of Vietnam EWG PKO Senior Colonel Mac Duc Trong and head of Japan EWG PKO Matsuzawa Tomoko. The event also saw the attendance of representatives from units and agencies under Vietnam’s Ministry of National Defense, the United Nations Development Program in Vietnam, the U.N. Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and defense attachés of ASEAN member nations to Vietnam.

At the event

The meeting aimed to promote experience sharing among U.N. members, thus raising the effectiveness of pre-deployment training as well as fostering the participation of women in U.N. peacekeeping operations and their capability to fulfill missions.   

Speaking at the event, heads of the two delegations agreed that pre-deployment training and the improvement of capacity for peacekeeping forces are important steps in preparing peacekeeping forces to meet the requirements at U.N. missions.

They said that the quality of pre-deployment training and capacity building is significantly important as it determines the quality of U.N. peacekeeping activities as well as helps ensure safety and security for the forces during their operation.

Senior Colonel Mac Duc Trong emphasized that amid the complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, peacekeeping operations will be more challenging, requiring peacekeepers to enrich their knowledge and skills to protect themselves from being infected.

Sharing the Vietnamese official’s view, head of Japan EWG PKO Matsuzawa Tomoko emphasized the need to equip peacekeepers with essential skills and knowledge to fulfill all missions in the pandemic time.  

At the plenary working session, representatives from Japan and experts from Cambodia, India, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and the U.S. exchanged experience and initiatives in pre-deployment training and capacity building for peacekeeping forces. 

Briefing on Vietnam’s strategy in training and raising capacity of peacekeeping forces, Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Thi Minh Phuong from the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations said that Vietnam not only targets to raise its training quality for its peacekeepers, but also tries to meet standards in training international peacekeeping forces. 

She also took the occasion to share Vietnam’s experience and initiatives in raising peacekeepers’ capability amid the COVID-19 pandemic. She said that in the coming time Vietnam will foster international cooperation, promote information-sharing, join or chair bilateral and multilateral drills on U.N. peacekeeping, and co-host international training courses with the U.N., among others.

Defense attachés of ASEAN member nations to Vietnam attending the event

In the group discussion held on the same day, participating countries discussed a wide range of issues, including methods to improve the quality of pre-deployment training and capacity building for peacekeeping forces in pandemic conditions and measures to increase the participation of women in peacekeeping operations.

Also at the event, Vietnam EWG PKO and Japan EWG PKO introduced the major contents of the Field Training Exercise (FTX), which is scheduled to take place in Vietnam in September 2023, and the Initial Planning Conference (IPC) for FTX, slated for March 2022 in Vietnam.

This is the second time that Vietnam and Japan have co-chaired a meeting of EWG PKO Cycle 4. Since the first meeting in April, the two sides have actively cooperated in realizing approved plans, including the preparation for FTX.

Senior Colonel Mac Duc Trong emphasized that the outcomes of the meeting demonstrated ADMM+ nations’ responsibility towards EWG PKO’s cooperation activities.

At the event, Vietnam and Japan committed themselves to promoting cooperation activities in the coming time, contributing to raising the effectiveness of cooperation in peacekeeping operations among countries in the ADMM+ mechanism. 

By co-chairing the EWG PKO Cycle 4 with Japan, Vietnam continues affirming its role, prestige, and contribution to multilateral cooperation in peacekeeping operations in the region, thus strengthening cooperation among countries. 

Translated by Tran Hoai