The Vietnam Peacekeeping Brigade: Honored with the Fatherland Protection Order

On the 27th of May, the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations (VDPO), a division of the Ministry of National Defence, commemorated a decade since its inception with its Traditional Day celebrations. This significant milestone was marked with the presentation of the prestigious third-class Fatherland Protection Order, honouring a decade of dedication and service to the nation.

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The Vietnamese “blue-beret” soldiers, known for their peacekeeping missions, have been recognized as messengers of peace by the Ministry of National Defence leaders. These soldiers, through their acts of service, connect with people, share love, and contribute to the happiness and well-being of communities. Their dedication to their duties has positively impacted local areas and fostered a noble image of Vietnamese peacekeeping operations internationally.

The celebration of their achievements was graced by esteemed guests, including Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang, Deputy Defence Minister Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien, Senior General Pham Van Tra, former Minister of National Defense, and other distinguished representatives from the military and international organizations in Vietnam.

Deputy Defence Minister Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien presents the third-class Fatherland Protection Order to Engineering Unit Rotation 1. The ceremony, held on May 27, acknowledged the invaluable contributions of the Vietnamese peacekeepers.

Photo: VNA

Colonel Pham Manh Thang, Director of the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations, reflected on the journey that began a decade ago when the Ministry of National Defence established the Vietnam Peacekeeping Center, the precursor to the current department. Since then, Vietnamese soldiers have embarked on UN peacekeeping missions, with a particular focus on South Sudan.

The Vietnam People’s Army has actively participated in various initiatives, including road construction and repair, school infrastructure development, and water well drilling to benefit local communities. They have also provided medical examinations, health consultations, and free medicine to those in need.

The Engineering Unit of Vietnam has earned high praise from the UNISFA Mission Commander, local authorities, and the people of the Abyei Region. Their presence has brought about positive changes to the region and enhanced the reputation of UN Peacekeeping forces.

Delegates at the event participated in a flag-raising ceremony, symbolizing unity and pride.

Photo: VGP

Over the last 10 years, Vietnam has deployed over 800 officers and professional soldiers on UN peacekeeping operations. This includes five detachments of the Level-2 field hospital to South Sudan, two engineering units to the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei, and 114 officers serving as individuals. The success rate of Vietnamese peacekeepers in excelling in their duties far surpasses the UN average.

Director Colonel Pham Manh Thang expressed gratitude to the leaders of the Party, the State, the Central Military Commission, the Defence Ministry, and various inter-sectoral working groups for their invaluable support. He also acknowledged the contributions of international partners and organizations in helping the VDPO fulfill its duties and successfully carry out UN peacekeeping missions.

Deputy Minister of National Defence Hoang Xuan Chien addressed the gathering, commending the efforts of the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations and expressing confidence in their ability to overcome challenges.

Photo: VGP

Deputy Minister Chien highlighted the positive impact of Vietnam’s participation in UN peacekeeping operations on the international community’s perception of the country. He emphasized that these missions promote peace and enhance Vietnam’s stature and prestige globally.

He concluded by expressing his faith in the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations, encouraging them to remain united, proactive, and creative in their endeavors.

In alignment with United Nations Resolution 1325 on Women, peace, and security, Vietnam has actively promoted gender equality in peacekeeping activities. Over the past 10 years, approximately 100 female soldiers have been part of peacekeeping missions, including female officers and soldiers in the Level 2 field hospital squad and the Engineering Unit. This representation exceeds the United Nations average and has been highly recognized by the international organization. As a result, the leaders of the Ministry of National Defense of Vietnam and the United Nations were invited to co-chair the International Conference on Women and Peacekeeping Activities in November 2022.

Charlotte Pho

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