The Vietnam Peacekeeping Centre under the Ministry of Defence (MOD) began the construction of its headquarters in Thach That district, Hanoi on June 4.

Present at the groundbreaking ceremony were Deputy Defence Minister Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, who is also head of the MOD’s Steering Committee for Participation in UN Peacekeeping Missions, and Senior Lieutenant General Mai Quang Phan, member of the Central Party Committee and Deputy Director of the Vietnam People’s Army’s General Department of Politics (GDP).

The first phase of the project will be constructed at a total cost of more than 215 billion VND (9.85 million USD) and is expected to be operational by 2017. It includes an administrative building, a meeting hall, a lecture hall, a training centre for army medical corps, and residential halls for staff, lecturers and military students.

It will serve as a centre not only for counselling and training personnel and forces for Vietnam to join UN peacekeeping missions but also for training corps for humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

Speaking at the ceremony, Lieutenant General Le Chiem, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam’s People’s Army, said the Vietnam Peacekeeping Centre was established in May last year, representing Vietnam as an active member of international communities in the global effort towards peace, cooperation, stability and development.

The centre should work closely with involved bodies and the Hanoi City People’s Committee to prepare necessary paperwork and capital for the project, he said, stressing that construction quality and safety need to be guaranteed.-VNA