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Jul 13, 2022 / 21:49

UN Women helps Vietnamese police build capacity for peacekeeping missions

The ratio of women to men among Vietnam’s peacekeepers is much higher than the United Nations average, at 20% compared to 3%.

A training workshop has been kicked off to improve the capacity of Vietnam’s public security officials on the roles and responsibilities of UN peacekeeping and international policing.

 Participants at the course held on July 12-17. Photos: UN WOMEN

The five-day course starting on July 12 provided by UN Women, in partnership with the United Nations Police Division’s Standing Police Capacity and Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS), offers knowledge to a group of 26 Vietnamese police officials, particularly on how to protect women and girls from sexual violence in conflict-related contexts.

The police officials, with the majority of them being women, coming from a number of localities, including Hanoi, would be potential police personnel for the pre-deployment recruitment and training, and/or to contribute to the designing, planning, or delivering those important activities.

The officials will learn about the principles of international policing and how the United Nations peacekeepers should prevent and respond to sexual violence arising from conflicts, and how to train the police in host countries to promote gender equality and to prevent and investigate sexual and gender-based violence.

 Jaime Cuenca, Team Leader at UN’s Standing Police Capacity. 

The workshop is being led by two experts from the UN’s Standing Police Capacity, Jaime Cuenca, Team Leader, and Inga Urlapova, Investigations Adviser.

Addressing the workshop, Norul Mohamed Rashid, UN Women Policy Advisor on Governance, Peace & Security for Asia and the Pacific, said: “In conflict and post-conflict situations where sexual and gender-based violence is likely to be rampant and possibly used as a tactic to achieve strategic or political objectives, women police officers play a crucial role in operations, monitoring and reporting of violations, addressing impunity, and promoting accountability leading to the enhanced rule of law, recovery, and reconciliation.”

She argued this is because female survivors and community members are more likely to approach women police officers in times of crisis.

 Senior Colonel Le Duc Tuyen, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Public Security's Department of Foreign Relations.

Senior Colonel Le Duc Tuyen, Deputy Director of the MPS Department of Foreign Relations, highly appreciated the support by UN experts and the workshop as it is the first of its kind that MPS organized on UN Peace Operation and International Policing.

Tuyen stressed the importance of policewomen's participation in peace operations, the subject of gender equality, and the prevention of sexual violence against women and girls in conflict settings.

Nguyen Thu Ha from the MPS Criminal Police Department, one of the participants in the workshop, expressed her excitement that this is an invaluable chance for her to access the basic concepts of peace operations and international policing.

Thereby, she had a better understanding of the role of women when participating in peace operation activities, especially the UN's policies on gender equality, respecting women's rights, and becoming more aware of the UN police's duties to protect women and children in conflict areas.

 Nguyen Thu Ha from the MPS Criminal Police Department. 

As required in reality, women peacekeepers have an important role in the UN peacekeeping performances. Embassies of Canada, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland (G4) highlighted the importance of Vietnam’s women peacekeepers, affirming their roles in making a fairer and better world.

According to G4, in modern conflicts where civilians are the targets of sexual and gender-based violence is used as a tactic of war, women are not just victims of conflicts but front liners, decision-makers, and shapers of all peace efforts.

The ratio of women to men among Vietnamese peacekeepers is around 20.9%, compared to 3% of the UN military peacekeepers.

Since 2014, Vietnam has deployed 512 military personnel, including 107 women, to the United Nations peacekeeping missions, including in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan. The Government is planning to deploy more women to such missions.

Running training courses is part of UN bodies' efforts to correct the gender imbalance among peacekeepers. UN Women’s support for the workshop is part of its project Empowering Women for Sustainable Peace: Preventing Violence and Promoting Social Cohesion in ASEAN, which is funded by Canada, South Korea, and the UK.