On the occasion of the seventh founding anniversary of the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations (VNDPKO), the People’s Army Newspaper had an interview with Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien, Deputy Defense Minister, on the development of the Vietnamese peacekeeping force. Below is the major content of the interview.

Deputy Defense Minister Sr. Lt. Gen. Hoang Xuan Chien

When asked about the significance of the participation of Vietnam in U.N. peacekeeping operations, the deputy defense minister stressed that Vietnam’s participation in U.N. peacekeeping operations shows its political commitment to the world and proves that Vietnam is a responsible and reliable country in the international community. It also helps enhance Vietnam’s prestige in the international arena and boost the country’s defense cooperation and defense relations activities, thus affirming the important role of defense relations in the national foreign policy.

The establishment of the Vietnam Peacekeeping Center, the forerunner of the VNDPKO, marked a milestone in the development of the Vietnamese peacekeeping force. Over the past time, the VNDPKO has effectively implemented its functions and role as a strategic advisory organ of the Central Military Commission (CMC) and the Ministry of National Defense (MND) in the management and direction of Vietnamese peacekeeping force.

Mentioning the remarkable achievements of the Vietnamese peacekeeping force since 2014, General Chien highly appreciated the high determination and great efforts of the force. Overcoming all hardships and danger, Vietnamese peacekeepers have successfully accomplished all missions assigned by the nation and the U.N., highly appreciated by international friends.

Since 2014, Vietnam has sent 55 participating individual officers, 189 medical and management staff of its rotatory level-two field hospital to U.N. peacekeeping missions, and three officers to the head office of the U.N. in New York. That Vietnam has three officers working at the headquarters of the U.N. is an important milestone, as they engage directly in the development of working plans of operations for peacekeeping missions all over the world. This fact has also reaffirmed the commitments of a responsible and reliable Vietnam in this field and proved the capabilities and competence of the Vietnamese peacekeeping force, helping raise Vietnam’s position in the international community.

Vietnam has actively joined the U.N. peacekeeping operations. (Photo: Permanent Mission of Vietnam to the U.N.)

The VNDPKO has become a prestigious agency to promote bilateral and multilateral cooperation in peacekeeping operations. At present, Vietnam has signed memorandums of understanding on bilateral defense cooperation with nine countries, the U.N. and the European Union. That has once more reaffirmed the strong commitment of Vietnam in joining and promoting U.N. peacekeeping operations.

An important step forward was recorded on November 13, 2020, as the National Assembly of Vietnam adopted Resolution No.130/2020/QH14 on Vietnam’s participation in U.N. peacekeeping operations. The approval of the resolution has created a legal framework for the operation of the Vietnamese peacekeeping force in more effectively joining U.N. peacekeeping operations in line with the foreign policy and international integration process of Vietnam.

In the coming time, the deputy defense minister stressed, the CMC and the MND will direct relevant agencies and units to complete the legal framework for the operation of the force. The force will also be developed to be more competent and capable of meeting the requirements of all tasks set out in the international integration process and defense cooperation of the country. The VNDPKO will also be developed into a national coordination center for activities related to U.N. peacekeeping operations, gradually becoming a prestigious peacekeeping center in the region and the world.

In the immediate term, the CMC and the MND continue operating level-two field hospitals and sending individual officers to U.N. peacekeeping missions. An engineer company will also be sent to a U.N. peacekeeping mission in the coming time.

Translated by Huu Duong