Two members of the  level-2 field hospital fold the military flag before the departure of the peacekeeping force (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA)
– The Defence Ministry held a ceremony on October 1 at the Tan Son Nhat international airport to see off the first group of the nation’s level-2 field hospital to carry out peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.

At the ceremony, Deputy Defence Minister Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh, head of the steering committee of Vietnam's UN peacekeeping operations, said Vietnam’s participation in the United Nations peacekeeping operations is a breakthrough step in implementing the country’s external relations policy. It marks qualitative and quantitative changes of Vietnam’s multilateral cooperation in general and of defence-security collaboration in particular.

Deputy Defence Minister Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh, head of the steering committee of Vietnam's UN peacekeeping operations, speaks at the event (Photo: VNA)

He noted that the country has also sent military officials to conflict-plagued countries to take part in policy discussion and planning regarding peace and international security, the promotion of principles of international law and the UN Charter, the struggle against arms race, and the settlement of disputes by peaceful measures.

Vinh affirmed that the People’s Army of Vietnam, which has its origin in the people and fight for the people over the past more than 70 years, has not only protected the country, but also made contributions to its external relations policy, particularly with its engagements in the peacekeeping mission.

He requested the Vietnam Peacekeeping Department work with relevant agencies to keep close monitoring of the operations of the level-2 field hospital in South Sudan. He asked the force to strengthen their solidarity to overcome difficulties and effectively carry out its mission overseas.

In his online speech delivered from the UN headquarters, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support Atul Khare congratulated Vietnam and praised the nation’s efforts to directly involve in the UN peacekeeping mission.

He said the deployment of the level-2 field hospital reflects Vietnam’s goodwill and responsibility toward the mission as well as its capacity to join the work bringing peace and stability to people in difficult areas.

Reporting the preparation of the level-2 field hospital, Colonel Hoang Kim Phung, Director of the Vietnam Peacekeeping Department, said the team has trained hard for almost five years to meet the UN’s standards and be selected to replace their peers from the UK in Bentiu, South Sudan.

The personnel are ready for their mission, he stated.

At the ceremony, Vinh handed over to the executive board of the field hospital the military flag and the President’s decision on the deployment of the group to the African country.

After the event, 30 members of the force departed for South Sudan and the remaining 33 members will leave two weeks later.

On November 25, 2014, the Defence Ministry issued a decision to establish the level-2 field hospital with a 70-strong staff, a step to realise the Party and State’s policy on joining the United Nations’ peacekeeping activities in the field of humanitarian activities. Since then, the hospital’s staff have engaged in intensive training in accordance with the UN’s standards.-VNA