The staff of the level-2 field hospital No.3 at the farewell ceremony on March 24, 2021, in HCM City before leaving for Bentiu, South Sudan, to join the United Nations peacekeeping mission. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vũ
HÀ NỘI — The peacekeeping force of Việt Nam has made considerable contributions in the past, which have won the recognition and high evaluation from the United Nations and international friends, helping to promote the country’s stature and prestige in the region and the world.
Lieutenant Colonel Stéphane Pierrat, an European Union expert for peacekeeping sent to the Việt Nam Department of Peacekeeping Operations, told the Vietnam News Agency that the Vietnamese peacekeepers are “fully capable to join all the standards from United Nations”, and that they are proving their experience on the ground in South Sudan.
The force has assisted not only the troops but also the population in South Sudan, and have been “very welcomed,” he said, adding that the UN highly valued Việt Nam’s contributions.
Pierrat said that he has seen people coming back with big smiles and also people going to South Sudan with a big smiles, and that they must be very happy and proud to be in this mission.
Since June 2014, Việt Nam has deployed three level-2 field hospitals to South Sudan. The first two fulfilled their tasks and already returned home while the third departed for the African country on March 23.
Talking about Việt Nam’s dedication to UN peacekeeping operations, Major Colonel Adam R. Lulay, Bilateral Affairs Officer from the US Office of Defence Cooperation, said: “The experiences that Việt Nam is seeing and getting in South Sudan, they can bring a lot of those lessons learned back here and incorporate into Việt Nam, but also spread it to their peers and the future missions.”
The Vietnamese force’s performance in South Sudan is an exemplar of medical assistance, especially amid the current challenges of COVID-19, according to the officer.
Lulay said the peacekeepers from Việt Nam have “done an incredible job leading the way in many ways”, especially the percentage of women higher than the level recommended by the UN.
Over the last six years, Việt Nam has included 20 servicewomen in its level-2 field hospital staff, accounting for nearly 16 per cent, and four others individually deployed to UN peacekeeping operations, higher than the recommended 15 per cent.
Major General Hoàng Kim Phụng, Director of the Việt Nam Department of Peacekeeping Operations, noted though the country has just taken part in UN peacekeeping operations, it has made a great impression on international friends, particularly the UN and the missions in South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
The performance by both the first and second level-2 field hospitals has been highly valued by the mission leaders and the UN. The UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix also sent a thank-you letter to the Vietnamese Government for the medical contribution. — VNS