The United States and Vietnam Partner To Promote Peacekeeping

As the United States and Vietnam mark twenty years since re-establishing diplomatic ties, the relationship between our two countries continues to grow. One area of this growing partnership might surprise you. Through the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI), the United States is a key supporter of Vietnam’s efforts to build its capabilities to contribute to international peacekeeping.

Officials from the United Nations, United States, and Vietnam recently met in Hanoi for a UN Force Generation Workshop. Spanning the course of five days, officers from the U.S. Pacific Command and the Vietnamese military, as well as other peacekeeping representatives from the United Nations, discussed the technical details of conducting modern peacekeeping operations including the decision-making processes involved in assembling and administering international peacekeeping forces; training troops for peace operations; and the logistics required to successfully support peacekeeping forces in the field.  U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius praised the workshop as “another significant and positive step toward the full realization of Vietnam’s determination to fully participate in United Nations peacekeeping operations.”      

U.S. and Vietnamese military personnel discuss field medical services required to support peacekeeping operations at the UN Force Generation Workshop in Hanoi, Vietnam [Photo courtesy of U.S. Pacific Command]

In recent years, Vietnam has been working closely with both the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Defense to develop peacekeeping capabilities and is making progress toward that goal.  In 2014, the Vietnamese government established the Vietnam Peacekeeping Center (which co-hosted the workshop with GPOI) and deployed its first peacekeepers to South Sudan and Central Africa in support of UN peacekeeping operations. Currently, Vietnam has five officers deployed to South Sudan and Central Africa in support of UN peacekeeping operations. Earlier this year, Vietnam was also recognized as an official member of the Association of Asia Pacific Peace Operations Training Centers.

Looking ahead, the United States plans to build on this partnership by helping to construct a training facility at the Vietnam Peacekeeping Center, as well as support Vietnam’s goal to provide a Level 2 Field Hospital and an Engineer unit for a future UN mission. Through GPOI, as well as other U.S. military-to-military engagements, English language training, and related activities, the United States hopes to set a clear path to support Vietnam’s important contribution to global peace and stability for years to come.

Two Vietnamese Peacekeepers arrived in Juba on January 30, 2014, to serve with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) --  the first time that Vietnam contributed to Peacekeeping troops [United Nations Photo]

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs is responsible for the management of GPOI, coordinating closely with other State Department bureaus and interagency partners to develop regional program plans and to implement training and equipping activities with partner countries. Established in 2005 as part of the U.S. contribution to the G8 Action Plan for Expanding Global Capability for Peace Support Operations, GPOI works to increase partner countries’ capacity to train and deploy national peacekeeping forces capable of meeting the ever-increasing demands of UN and regional peacekeeping missions.

Since its establishment, GPOI has worked with partner countries around the world to build peacekeeping capacity, including Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile, El Salvador, Malaysia, and Serbia. GPOI currently supports 51 partner countries, like Vietnam, to build their own capacity for training through train-the-trainer and other capacity building activities, facilitating the deployment of more than 197,000 personnel to peace operations around the world to date. GPOI training emphasizes critical peacekeeping principles, such as the protection of civilians, which includes prevention of gender-based violence and sexual exploitation and abuse.  The program further supports UN efforts to increase the number of female peacekeepers, training more than 5,300 female peacekeepers.

Now, more than ever, a global demand for trained peacekeeping personnel has become an international priority.  On the margins of next month’s UN General Assembly in New York, President Obama, the UN Secretary-General, and the leaders of Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Japan, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Rwanda, and Uruguay will co-host a Peacekeeping Summit to promote efforts to modernize and strengthen international peacekeeping operations.  The United States has long been a steadfast supporter of UN peacekeeping operations and is working around the world to help build partnerships and capacities with other countries seeking to contribute to the cause of conflict prevention, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding. 

GPOI helps provide the tools and technical expertise to train and make ready those personnel by uniting countries in the fight to work for peace. For more information, check out the GPOI section on our web page, and follow us on Twitter @StateDeptPM.

About the Author: Kelsie Maxwell, a 2/C Midshipman studying at the U.S. Naval Academy, currently serves in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in this post do not reflect the views of the naval service, Naval Academy, or the U.S. Department of State.

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Comments

Comments

Patrick W.
|
Maryland, USA
August 7, 2015
I like your thesis on this subject and your use of the thesis statement in your last paragraph. "The United States has long been a steadfast supporter of UN peacekeeping operations and is working around the world to help build partnerships and capacities with other countries seeking to contribute to the cause of conflict prevention, peacekeeping, and peace-building ."
U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius with Vietnamese and UN officials at the opening of the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations Force Generation Workshop [U.S. Embassy Hanoi Photo]
Posted by Kelsie Maxwell
August 5, 2015

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