Sen. Lt. Gen. Pham Ngoc Minh (second row, third from right) attends the Chiefs of Defence Conference on United Nations peacekeeping in New York (Photo: VNA)

New York (VNA) – A high-ranking delegation of the Vietnam People’s Army attended the Chiefs of Defence Conference on United Nations peacekeeping in New York, the US, on July 6-7.

Sen. Lt. Gen. Pham Ngoc Minh, Deputy Chief of the army’s General Staff and deputy head of the Vietnamese defence ministry’s steering board for participation in UN peacekeeping, led the Vietnamese delegation to the event.

The conference was attended by heads of the defence force from more than 140 UN member countries which engage in peacekeeping activities, along with representatives of such organisations as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the European Union, and the African Union.

In his opening remarks, UN Under-Secretary-General Jean-Pierre Lacroix highly valued substantial contributions by countries volunteering peacekeepers, including Vietnam, to the peace stabilisation, war consequences settlement, humanitarian aid to refugees, and environmental protection.

He stressed the need for higher unanimity in the UN member countries’ resolve to cope with existing urgent issues that affect the future of peacekeeping operations such as field assistance, women’s role, swift force deployment, and some measures for improving the efficiency of the peacekeeping force.

At the conference, many member nations showed their support for UN resolutions on peacekeeping and shared experience in commanding and managing the peacekeeping force.

Many of them also appreciated efforts by countries which just took part in peacekeeping operations recently, including Vietnam. Vietnam was recognised as a country with clear political commitments and concrete and firm steps in its road map to participate in peacekeeping operations.

On the sidelines of the conference, the Vietnamese delegation had working sessions and meetings with defence officers of the UK, Japan, the Philippines and Thailand.

At a meeting with Gen. Chris Deverell – Commander of the UK’s Joint Forces Command, the two sides talked about the takeover of a level-2 field hospital in Bentiu, South Sudan, and the sending of experts to help Vietnam in specialised and English language training. They expressed the belief that with its determination and the UK’s wholehearted support, Vietnam will be best prepared before taking over the field hospital at the UN peacekeeping mission in 2018.-VNA