Vietnam’s participation in the United Nations’ peacekeeping operations marks new progress in the international defence integration of the country, said Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army, Lieutenant General Vo Van Tuan.

In an interview granted to the Quan doi Nhan dan (People’s Army) newspaper on May 27, Lt. Gen. Tuan said the move affirms Vietnam’s external policy of multilateralisation and diversification of its relations.

It is also part of the Party’s policy on comprehensive international integration, in which defence is one of the main pillars, he said.

Vietnam’s involvement in the operations also helps raise its position and voice in the settlement of global issues. This will help create a favourable international environment for the country to boost political, economic and trade ties with other countries in various regions across the world, said Lt. Gen. Tuan.

Contributing to the global effort in maintaining peace through specific activities also shows Vietnam has performed its role as a responsible member in the international community, he said.

In addition, Vietnam’s participation in the UN peacekeeping missions reflects the nation’s tradition of peace-loving, while getting the world to understand more about Vietnam’s defence policies, he stated.

At the same time, the officers engaging in the operations will have a chance to practise in a diverse environment, thus enriching their experience and sharpening their skills, he added.

Lt. Gen. Tuan emphasised that the country’s involvement in the UN peacekeeping operations shows an innovation in the thinking of the Party, State and army in international integration.

Vietnam defines national defence as closely attached with the settlement of emerging security issues in the region and the world, he said.

He stressed that the country’s involvement in UN peacekeeping missions shows Vietnam sees peace and stability in the world as part of its own interests.

Regarding the principles that Vietnam will uphold when joining the operations, the officer said it will stick to the Party’s guidelines on international integration, in which preserving independence and self-control is one of the basic principles.

The Vietnamese force will be put under the management of nobody but the UN, and will only operate within the framework of agreements with the UN in accordance with Vietnam’s law, international law and the UN Charter, respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries, he said.

Vietnam will join UN peacekeeping missions that stay neutral and unprejudiced, not taking part in fights but in activities to overcome the aftermath of conflicts and restore peace as well as humanitarian and support activities like military logistics and medicine, said Lt. Gen. Tuan.

The political determination of Vietnam has been valued by UN agencies, he said, adding that UN authorised agencies in peacekeeping have also expressed their great expectation of Vietnam ’s engagement.

In order to prepare for its involvement in the operations, Vietnam has mapped out a general plan for the work, Lt. Gen. Tuan said.

According to him, the Vietnam Peacekeeping Centre will open on May 27, providing training on language, international law and the necessary skills for participating forces.

It will be the key communication centre between Vietnamese forces abroad and the commander post of the Defence Ministry, he said.

At the same time, Vietnam has also given intensive training to officers before sending them on UN peacekeeping missions, while dispatching an interdisciplinary working team to the field to explore the operations of the UN Mission in South Sudan, he noted.

Lt. Gen. Tuan added that Vietnam has also reviewed and completed legal documents to create a full and sufficient legal basis for the country’s participation in UN peacekeeping operations.

Mentioning specific activities that Vietnam will join, he said that at first, Vietnam will prioritise humanitarian operations or those providing support services such as military logistics, medicine and engineering and sending military observers, liaison and advisory teams and poll supervisors.

The first force will be dispatched on a small scale, with two liaison officers sent to the UN Mission in South Sudan, he said.

With its heroic tradition, experience and capacity, coupled with its serious and careful preparations, the Vietnamese armed forces will successfully perform their missions in UN peacekeeping operations, Lt. Gen. Tuan concluded.-VNA