Vietnamese 'peace ambassadors' efforts to protect human rights praised

January 03, 2023 - 09:53

Since Việt Nam officially joined the UN peacekeeping operation in June 2014, the country has sent more than 500 officers and soldiers to 'hotbeds' in Africa.


Vietnamese peacekeepers coordinate with their Pakistani counterparts to organise medical examinations and treatment for people in Abyei. — Photo from the Việt Nam Department of Peacekeeping Operations

HÀ NỘI — The United Nations has lauded Việt Nam for its worldwide participation, support, and contributions to UN peacekeeping operations.

At a reception for a delegation of the National Assembly's Committee for National Defence in the US in July, UN Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support Atul Khare highlighted Việt Nam's deployment of Engineering Unit Rotation 1 to the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), a Level-2 Field Hospital Rotation 4 to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), and personnel training through tripartite cooperation mechanisms.

The official expressed his hope that Việt Nam will share its experience training peacekeeping forces with other countries, especially in the region.

In his visit to the Việt Nam Department of Peacekeeping Operations in late November, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix also praised the services of UN peacekeeping forces from Việt Nam and expressed his belief that cooperation between the two sides in this sphere will be tightened and bear more fruits.

The praises reflect the international recognition of Việt Nam's engagement in peacekeeping operations over the past eight years, as well as the country's contributions to ensuring human rights globally as peace and living in peace is a basic human right and the most important pillar for the protection and promotion of human rights.

Since Việt Nam officially joined the UN peacekeeping operation in June 2014, the country has sent more than 500 officers and soldiers to 'hotbeds' in Africa, who have overcome a host of difficulties and dangers, with some even sacrificing their lives to fulfil their missions of protecting peace, ensuring security and supporting vulnerable communities.

With the international spirit and good virtues of Uncle Hồ's soldiers, the Vietnamese 'peace ambassadors' have left good impressions on residents and partners and promoted the image of Việt Nam as a friendly, peace-loving and humane country that stands ready to join hands in addressing issues facing the world.

The international community has commended Vietnamese peacekeeping forces for their efforts in protecting civilians in conflict-stricken areas, creating a firm foundation for the country to be elected as a member of the UN Human Rights Council for 2023-2025.

Apart from performing UN peacekeeping tasks, the Vietnamese soldiers and officers have also played a role in promoting human rights in host countries through various humanitarian activities such as taking care of and educating children, guiding locals to plant vegetables and fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Major Colonel Adam R. Lulay, Bilateral Affairs Officer from the US Office of Defence Cooperation, said the Vietnamese force's performance in South Sudan is an example of medical assistance, especially amid the current challenges of the pandemic.

Việt Nam's Engineering Unit Rotation 1 has been deployed to the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) with 184 sappers, three times more than a Level-2 field hospital and the biggest of its kind to join UN peacekeeping operations.

The Vietnamese sappers have been highly valued for their knowledge, professionalism and contributions to the community.

Endeavours of the Vietnamese 'peace ambassadors' have been reflected through various figures, with nearly 20 road rescue operations conducted in security emergencies, nearly 30km of canals, and 200 metres of sewers built, helping more than 3,000 households escape from flooding in rainy seasons, among others activities.

The unit also coordinated with Pakistani soldiers to provide charity health check-ups and treatment for residents in the Amiet market area.

Major General Benjamin Olufemi Sawyerr, Commanding Officer of UNISFA, stressed the significance of the Vietnamese unit's activities to the mission's tasks and the life of residents.

In April, 63 members of Level-2 Field Hospital Rotation 4 headed to South Sudan. Three months later, the hospital inaugurated an obstetrics clinic and launched an action plan for women's health in Bentiu. This is the first obstetrics clinic built by the hospital in UNMISS.

Dr Nguyễn Hồng Hải, a researcher at the Centre for Policy Futures under the University of Queensland in Australia, told the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) that Việt Nam's participation in the UN peacekeeping operations has come from its sense of responsibility.

The country has won the trust of the UN, partners and host countries, Hai noted. 

Việt Nam has gained a position and reputation in the international arena thanks to its contributions to the international community, the researcher said, mentioning the country's engagement in the UN peacekeeping operations.

Former Secretary General of the France-Việt Nam Friendship Association Jean-Pierre Archambault stressed that the Southeast Asian country had done a good job of ensuring the right to peace, national independence and the right to live. Over the past years, Vietnam has also actively joined humanitarian activities at the UN Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan, hailed by the UN and the international community.

President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has emphasised that the dedication, responsibility and devotion of the Vietnamese 'blue beret' soldiers have made the image of the Vietnamese land and people shine as those who love peace and support prosperity and development of humankind.

He said that the 'peace ambassadors' have practically contributed to settling security issues, safeguarding peace and stability in the region and the world, and protecting and promoting everyone's right to enjoying peace. — VNS