ASEAN peacekeeping centres look to boost ties in COVID-19 response hinh anh 1Deputy Defence Minister Sen. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh speaks at the ASEAN Peacekeeping Centres Network videoconference on July 16 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A video conference of the ASEAN Peacekeeping Centres Network (APCN) was held by the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations (VDPO) in Hanoi on July 16, focusing on ways to enhance cooperation among the network’s members in COVID-19 response.

This was the first APCN videoconference held by Vietnam as APCN Chair and host of the eighth annual APCN general meeting.

The APCN, established in 2011 within the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) framework, is intended to promote the partnership in peacekeeping training in ASEAN, thereby helping with the ASEAN Community building and practically contributing to the UN’s peacekeeping missions for the sake of a region and a world of peace, cooperation and common development.

Opening the conference, Deputy Defence Minister Sen. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh said the complex developments of COVID-19 have considerably affected defence cooperation activities. 

However, he noted, ASEAN countries have been actively responding to this pandemic in line with the 2020 ASEAN theme of “Cohesive and Responsive”.

Stressing the importance of concurrently fighting against COVID-19 and preventing disruptions to peacekeeping activities, VDPO Director Maj. Gen. Hoang Kim Phung said the videoconference aimed to make all-round preparations for peacekeeping forces to stay ready to take part in the UN’s joint efforts to perform their duties and combat the pandemic in the areas the missions are based in.

He also expressed his belief that the APCN would adopt a suitable approach in the bloc’s spirit of “Cohesive and Responsive” so that the member countries can together maintain and enhance effective cooperation in UN peacekeeping activities amid complex developments of COVID-19.

At the event, participants looked into ways to reinforce ties among APCN members in the face of the pandemic, the Vietnamese army’s experience in COVID-19 prevention and control, and disease prevention measures for UN peacekeeping forces. They also got updates on the disease situation at UN peacekeeping missions./.