Vietnam sent the first female military officer to U.N. peacekeeping missions in January 2018, and she served as an operational staff officer at the mission in South Sudan.

At present, the rate of Vietnam’s female officers taking part in U.N. peacekeeping operations is at 15.5%, which is higher than the average target set by the U.N. at 15% by 2028.

Female officers of the Military Engineering Company Rotation 2 depart for U.N. peacekeeping mission in Abyei. 

As of May 2023, 81 of the 529 Vietnamese officers sent to U.N. missions were women, including 12 deployed individually, 21 as members of Engineering Company Rotation 1, and 48 as members of Level-2 field hospitals. In particular, the country has also sent the first female police officer to a peacekeeping mission.

At the U.N. missions, Vietnamese servicewomen have shown remarkable performance in many positions such as military observer, operational staff officer, training staff officer, doctor, and nurse.

Addressing an international conference on women with the U.N. peacekeeping operations held in Hanoi on November 26, 2022, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix said Vietnam has become one of the leading countries in the efforts to increase women’s participation in these operations.

Nguyen Phuong Nga, former President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations and former Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the U.N., noted that the country’s deployment of a high rate of servicewomen to U.N. peacekeeping operations reflects its strong efforts and commitments to help maintain global peace and security, promote the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, and especially bolster women’s role in U.N. peacekeeping operations.

This is an important achievement in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, she said.

The servicewomen, who stand ready to stay away from family, take on difficult challengers and the dangers of missions and harsh training and living conditions and excellently fulfill their peacekeeping duties. They are a source of inspiration and trust for women and girls in not only Vietnam but also in the host countries. Lacroix said that U.N. female peacekeepers bring about greater trust, and they are important role models for women and girls in the host countries.

Vietnamese servicewomen have assisted local people in growing vegetables and caring for and teaching children. They have also offered charitable health check-ups and treatment, built roads and schools, and made and presented face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic to locals. They work ceaselessly to popularize the image of Vietnamese soldiers and women among their colleagues from other countries and local residents.

During his official visit to Vietnam from October 21 to 23 last year, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that living thousands of miles away from their homeland, Vietnamese peacekeepers, both men and women, are risking their lives to bring about peace, hope, and opportunities for a better life for people in the most disadvantaged places in the world.

He added the ultimate goal of U.N. peacekeeping operations is to build trust, and the Vietnamese officers have been able to do so. Female peacekeepers of Vietnam have helped spread the image of the country’s land, people, and culture to international friends, and also beautify the image of U.N. peacekeepers.

Source: VNA