The conference was co-chaired by Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien, Member of the Party Central Committee, Deputy Defense Minister, cum Head of the Defense Ministry’s Steering Committee for the participation in U.N. peacekeeping operations; and U.N. Under Secretary General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix.

Earlier, Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien received the U.N. Under Secretary General. At the reception, he affirmed that the presence of Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix was important to the success of the conference as well as the common development of the Vietnam-U.N. cooperation. He also underscored that the U.N. is an important partner of Vietnam, so that Vietnam gives priority to promoting cooperation with the U.N. The Vietnamese deputy defense minister also thanked U.N.'s functional agencies for their cooperation with the Vietnamese Defense Ministry over the past time, especially in the U.N. peacekeeping operations; and thanked the U.N. Under Secretary General for his support to Vietnam’s participation in the U.N. peacekeeping operations.

Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien and U.N. Under Secretary General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix

Promoting the women’s role in peacekeeping operations

Addressing the conference, Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien highlighted the importance of the Women, Peace and Security agenda and nine resolutions of the U.N. Security Council on this program. So far, 152 member countries have signed and participated in the U.N. Action-for-Peace Initiative proposed by the U.N. Secretary General to improve the effectiveness of U.N. peacekeeping operations. The countries pledged to take actions in promoting the role and presence of women in peacekeeping operations. Therefore, the U.N. will reduce a number of some member states in the U.N. peacekeeping force when these countries do not meet the targets for the proportion of women. To maintain the sustainable participation of female officers in the U.N. peacekeeping operations, Vietnam should boost the Women, Peace and Security agenda.

The U.N. Under Secretary General noted that the U.N. would try its best to create a favorable and equal environment for women to participate in the peacekeeping operations.

During the event, Mark Tattersall, Chargé d’Affaires at the Australian Embassy in Vietnam underlined the importance of bolstering cooperation among countries in peacekeeping operations, including promoting the women’s capability to take part in the task, affirming that Vietnam and Australia have seen effective cooperation in this field. He added that recommendations should be aimed at strengthening women’s capacity instead of focusing only on increasing the proportion of women.

For his part, Major General Hoang Kim Phung, Director of the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations (VDPO) noted that one of the important factors contributing to increasing the role of women in peacekeeping activities is the active support of international friends in training, exchanges, experience sharing. Via the programs, Vietnamese female officers are well aware of the peacekeeping operations, as well as the responsibility and value of their participation in this field.

Vietnam - an example in promoting gender equality

Female officers in U.N. peacekeeping operations not only make effective contribution to the task, but also inspires women and female children in the host countries as well as all over the world, while encouraging women and female children to fight for themselves, towards gender equality, underscored Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix.

At the conference, delegates highly appreciated the capacity and effectiveness of Vietnamese female soldiers in partaking in the U.N. peacekeeping operations. The U.N. Under Secretary General held that in U.N. mission in South Sudan, Vietnam assigns both male and female peacekeepers to conduct patrols, which contributes to building trust among communities in the host nation.

According to the VDPO Director, Vietnamese all female officers, in many positions, have accomplished their assigned tasks. They have helped the locals plant trees, take care of their children, teach students, and provide free health check-ups and medicines to them, contributing to spreading the beautiful image of Vietnamese female officers and women to international friends.

Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix thanked all Vietnamese peacekeepers who have joined the U.N. peacekeeping missions since 2014, highlighting that the conference showed the Vietnam’s commitment to the U.N. gender equality goal. With an increasing number of female soldiers and the approval of the National Assembly for targets set out in the National Action Program on Women, Peace and Security, Vietnam has become one of the leading countries in increasing women’s participation in peacekeeping operations, he emphasized.

Addressing the conference, U.N. Resident Coordinator in Vietnam Pauline Tamesis also applauded the Vietnam’s role in promoting sustainable and peaceful solutions to conflicts and disputes, including actively increasing the participation of women in the U.N. peacekeeping operations.

Translated by Minh Anh