NEW YORK — UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix has said he values Việt Nam’s cooperation with the UN in peacekeeping since the country joined operations in 2014, as well as the country’s efforts in 2021.
In an interview with Vietnam News Agency correspondents in New York, Lacroix hailed Việt Nam’s provision of level-2 field hospitals in South Sudan, stressing that this was what the UN needed from its member countries, as in more dangerous environments better protection and medical support was required.
The UN Under-Secretary-General said that the UN was working with Việt Nam to deploy an engineering company to the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei.
He added that this was an area of critical importance, stressing the significance of good engineering to peacekeeping operations.
“I believe that Việt Nam understands well what the priorities of peacekeeping are, and will do its best to respond to these priorities. That is why we really appreciate what Việt Nam has been doing with us since it started contributing to peacekeeping operations in 2014.”
Lacroix said that the UN expected to work more with Việt Nam as the UN could see the country’s capacity through the deployment of level-2 field hospitals and its upcoming engineering unit.
He hailed Việt Nam’s efforts to improve the proportion of women peacekeepers (15 per cent currently), adding that he believed that with the participation of more women, peacekeeping would be more effective.
The UN needs a more specific capacity to better protect peacekeepers, particularly against attacks, along with officers who can collect and analyse information, react quickly and move quickly to effectively support civilians in conflicts. These are areas of critical need for international peacekeeping operations, and potential areas where the UN could work with Việt Nam, he said.
Looking back on UN operations in 2021, Lacroix said that he believed that the UN peacekeeping operations had been successful throughout a difficult year amid COVID-19, with peacekeepers ensuring the implementation of ceasefires and delivering humanitarian support while protecting hundreds of thousands of civilians.
He pointed to a lack of unity among the international community to support political efforts and seek political solutions and mentioned the challenge of worsening conflicts as well as complex security and political situations and a more dangerous environment in areas where UN peacekeeping missions were working.
In the recent minister-level meeting on peacekeeping, the majority of countries supported peacekeeping operations, and some proved their capacity to make more contributions, including Việt Nam, he added.
Lacroix said that next year, one of the priorities of the UN was to continue efforts with UN member states, including Việt Nam, to improve the effectiveness, impact and level of protection of peacekeeping operations.
He added that he believed the UN could count on the cooperation of Việt Nam. — VNS