Việt Nam to join UN peacekeeping missions

Un-peacekeepersViệt Nam says it will begin participating in the United Nations’ peacekeeping operations from early next year, a further sign that it wants to assume a bigger role in international affairs.

Facing rising demand, the UN has appealed for countries to send more troops and police officers to help carry out its peacekeeping missions.

Việt Nam did not say how large a contribution it was prepared to make.

Most of the 115 participating countries currently make only token contributions of fewer than 40 people.

The state-controlled Tiền Phong newspaper yesterday quoted Vice-Defence Minister Nguyễn Chí Vịnh as telling visiting assistant secretary-general for the UN’s peacekeeping operations, Mr Edmond Mulet, that Vietnamese troops would be available from early next year.

The report gave few other details.

Việt Nam opened its economy to foreign investment in the 1990s and has steadily embraced regional and international institutions.

Countries contribute troops to the UN for a variety of reasons, including national prestige, the ability to influence individual missions and a perception that doing so may help in bids for elected seats at the world body.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon acknowledged in 2011 that sourcing peacekeepers was a major problem, saying he had been “begging leaders to make resources available to us”.

There are currently 15 UN peacekeeping missions around the world.

Bangladesh is currently the biggest contributor, with more than 8,000 personnel, closely followed by Pakistan and India.

The United States and most European countries, while being the major financial contributors to the peacekeeping programme, mostly prefer to deploy their troops with Nato and the European Union or other Western-led missions.

Source: AP

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