|Female officers of Level-2 Field Hospital Rotation 3 at the deployment ceremony in March 2021. Photo: VNA
Vietnamese personnel at UN peacekeeping missions leave good impression
Vietnam’s continuous deployment and increase of personnel to UN peacekeeping operations have recorded encouraging results, leaving good impression on UN leaders, commanders of missions, and leaders of host countries.
The resolution of the 13th National Party Congress and Resolution No 22-NQ/TW of the Politburo identified the task of actively taking part in multilateral defence and security mechanisms, including engaging in cooperation activities at a higher level such as UN peacekeeping operations.
Since June 2014, the Vietnam People’s Army has sent 516 officers and professional soldiers to UN peacekeeping operations in South Sudan, the Central African Republic, the Abyei Area, and the UN headquarters.
The forces of Vietnam have been well fulfilling their duties, winning the recognition and support from the Party, State, and people, as well as high evaluation from the UN and international community. That also helped Vietnam obtain 192 out of the 193 votes to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021.
The deployed personnel have shown their professionalism, discipline, the spirit of international solidarity and, especially the capability of quickly adapting to harsh working conditions at the missions.
In 2020, four officers of the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations passed tests to be recruited by the UN, including three working for the UN Department of Peace Operations at the UN headquarters and one for the mission in the Central African Republic.
As of August 2022, Vietnam had sent about 80 officers working independently at the missions in South Sudan, the Central African Republic, the Abyei Area, and the UN headquarters. Many of them have finished their terms and been praised by the UN for their remarkable performance, accounting for 30%, compared to other countries’ average of 2%, cited VNA.
Meanwhile, since October 2018, four Level-2 field hospitals have been deployed to South Sudan. All of them have excellently fulfilled tasks and highly valued by mission leaders. The field hospitals have affirmed their specialised capacity and sense of responsibility while establishing themselves as a trustworthy source of healthcare support for UN staff members in the host country, especially amid complex developments of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations and the military advisor to the UN Secretary-General sent thank-you letters to the Vietnamese Government for those contributions.
In May 2022, the first engineering unit of Vietnam, which consists of 184 officers and professional soldiers and nearly 2,000 tonnes of equipment, departed for the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). As soon as arriving in the area, the unit quickly embarked on their duties. The mission’s commander recognised that their performance had helped make an improvement to the UNISFA.
In particular, Vietnam has always paid attention to raising the rate of servicewomen in UN peacekeeping operations.
Implementing the UN Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, as of August 2022, the country had sent 74 servicewomen to such operations, including eight working independently (accounting for 20%, compared to the UN average of under 10%), and 45 working for field hospitals (accounting for 16 - 21%, compared to the UN average of 12%). The engineering unit also includes 21 servicewomen (nearly 12%) while similar units of other countries do not any.
Highly valuing the move, officials of the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence were invited to join UN leaders in co-chairing an international conference on women with the UN peacekeeping operations. This event took place in Vietnam on November 26, 2022 on the occasion of a visit by UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix.
Vietnam among leading destinations for Thai tourists
The number of Thai tourists visiting the country is on the rise amid many popular destinations reopening without restrictions, while a weaker currency against the baht is also supporting the outbound tourism market, according to Yuthasak Supasorn, director general of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
The top destinations for Thai tourists during the New Year period include Japan, the Republic of Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, and Laos. The growing number of flights to those destinations had also helped to expand the outbound market this month, according to VOV.
The majority of Thais who can afford to travel abroad are typically middle- to high-income earners who have been unable to travel abroad over recent times due to the prolonged impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Yuthasak noted that the foreign tourism market in December, especially during the New Year holiday, has reached the highest level over the past three years. This could therefore affect domestic tourism to some extent, particularly as people redirect their spending to overseas destinations, he explained.
Citing data compiled by booking.com, an online travel agency, Yuthasak stated that Thai tourists booked more hotels to Asian destinations this month.
Vietnam logs 109 new Covid-19 cases on December 24
The national Covid-19 caseload rose to 11,524,202 with 109 new cases documented on December 24, the lowest daily number recorded in over one year, according to the Ministry of Health.
With 71 patients given the all-clear during the day, the number of recoveries rose to 10,610,763.
Meanwhile, there are 39 patients needing breathing support.
|Illustrative image. Photo: VNA
No death from Covid-19 was recorded in the past 24 hours. The total fatalities remain at 43,184.
With 15,915 doses administered on December 23, the total number of doses of Covid-19 vaccines injected rose to 265,354,235.
Vietnam among Top 100 of FIFA rankings
The Vietnamese national team concluded the year ranked at 96th place in the world, being among the Top 100 for the fourth consecutive year, according to the global rankings released on December 22 by global governing body FIFA.
Since December, 2018, the Vietnamese team under the guidance of head coach Park Hang-seo has consistently ranked in the Top 100 as unveiled by FIFA.
Most notably, December 2022’s rankings highlight that Vietnam have successfully maintained their leading position in the Southeast Asian region, a spot they have held for over 50 consecutive months, recording a total of 1,228.63 points.
Just behind Vietnam in the Southeast Asian region is Thailand with 1,173.4 points, placed 111st in the globe.
Elsewhere, the Philippines have dropped to 134th in the world, followed by Malaysia at 145th, and Indonesia at 151st.
In terms of Asia as a whole, Japan tops the continent at 20th place after their successful participation in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
They are followed by Iran in 24th, the Republic of Korea in 25th, Australia in 27th, and Saudi Arabia in 49th, cited VNN.
Brazil maintained their overall lead at the top of the rankings with 1,840.77 points. The five countries making up the top of the latest FIFA rankings include World Cup champions Argentina, France, Belgium, and England.
Trade surplus increases, agriculture shines
Vietnam enjoyed a trade surplus of nearly 11 billion USD in the first 11 months of 2022, of which the agricultural sector contributed significantly with 7.82 billion USD.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade previously forecast that the balance of trade in 2022 would present a surplus for the seventh consecutive year, with about 1 billion USD. But in fact, the figure jumped to 10.6 billion USD after 11 months, 10 billion USD higher than the same period last year. Export continues to be a bright spot in Vietnam's economic picture in the period.
|Illustrative image. Photo: VNA
According to the General Statistics Office, the import-export turnover in January-November hit nearly 674 billion USD, of which 342.2 billion USD came from exports, up 13.4% year-on-year, and the remaining from imports, up 10.1%.
However, the trade balances of the domestic and the FDI sectors are adverse. If the domestic sector had a trade deficit of 27.97 billion USD after 11 months, the FDI sector (including crude oil) recorded a trade surplus of 38.57 billion USD. The FDI sector also contributed 74.4% of the total export turnover.
In the period under review, agro-forestry-fishery exports stood at about 49.04 billion USD, higher than last year’s record of 48.6 billion USD, VNA reported.
The 11-month export rose 11.8% year on year while imports increased 6.9% to some 41.22 billion USD, resulting in a surplus of 7.82 billion USD – up 47.8%.
That made up a total trade of 90.26 billion USD, rising 9.5% year on year, statistics show.
Although orders tend to decrease due to high inflation in many major markets in the year-end, the sector’s export turnover this year is expected to reach 52.5-53 billion USD, nearly 3 billion USD higher than the set target.
Source Vietnam Times