The event was co-chaired by Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien, Deputy Defense Minister of Vietnam and Kamal Malhotra, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative to Vietnam.

Scene at the international symposium

Addressing the event, General Chien emphasized that amid the severe effects of the COVID-19 around the globe that have delayed many activities of the UN peacekeeping missions, the all-out efforts of the peacekeeping medical staff, including female doctors and nurses, in COVID-19 prevention and control have become a bright spot in UN peacekeeping operations.

General Chien added that since its engagement in UN peacekeeping operations in 2014, Vietnam has sent an increasing number of female officers to UN missions.

At the meeting, delegates confirmed the important role of women in UN peacekeeping operations. They also emphasized that blue-beret female officers have contributed positively to in the successes of 13 UN peacekeeping missions.

Delegates also heard reports delivered by two Vietnamese female officers at UN missions in South Sudan and the Central African Republic on the achievements of Vietnamese female peacekeepers in combating COVID-19.

In her speech, Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Resident Representative to Vietnam, said that the number of Vietnamese female troops in the Vietnamese peacekeeping force has met the UN standard of 16 percent which satisfies the gender equality strategy issued by the UN Secretary-General.

She highly valued the Vietnamese National Assembly’s latest approval of the resolution on the participation of its military in UN peacekeeping missions, saying that it will help increase the involvement of female troops in UN peacekeeping operations.

She stressed that Vietnam has become an excellent example of women participating in UN peacekeeping operations. In addition, as the ASEAN Chair 2020, Vietnam can help ASEAN become a model in this field for countries around the world to follow.

Also at the meeting, Major General Hoang Kim Phung, Director of the Vietnamese Department of Peacekeeping Operations informed that among the 63 members of Vietnam’s level-2 field hospital at the UN mission in South Sudan, ten are female peacekeepers. Additionally, Vietnam has three female officers out of 16 total officers at the UN mission in the Central African Republic, making up nearly 19%. This proportion is higher than the UN-required rate.

Translated by Mai Huong