International Conference: The New Landscape of Peace Operations

Thursday - 17/04/2014 03:17
The International Conference entitled: “Regional Dialogue on the New Landscape of Peace Operations” was co–held by the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (Sweden) on the 15th and 16th of April, 2014.
International Conference: The New Landscape of Peace Operations
International Conference: The New Landscape of Peace Operations

Various domestic and international scientists, politicians and diplomats participated in the conference.

From Vietnam, there were Mr. Hoang Chi Trung (Director – General, Department for International Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Mr. Bui The Giang (Director–General, Department for West Europe and North America Affairs, Commission for External Relations of the CPV Central Committee), Mrs. Ton Nu Thi Ninh (Former Vice–Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee, National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Vice President of Peace Committee, Vietnam Union of Friendship Organization), etc...and delegates from other universities and research institutes.

Among the international guests were Mrs. Edelgard Bulmanhn (Vice–President of Der Bundestag (German Federal Parliament)), Mrs Jutta Frash (Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Vietnam), Natalio C.Ecarma III, (Undersecretary for Defense Affairs, Department of National Defense, the Philippines), Ms. Eiko Ikegaya (Department of Peace Keeping Operations, UN)...and delegates from University of New South Wales (Australia), Ministry of Justice (Germany), University of Heidelberg (Germany), Center for International Peace Operations (Germany), Far East University (Korea), International Peace Research Institute (Sweden), Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (Germany), Institute for Peace and Democracy (Indonesia), etc...      

      Assoc.Prof.Dr Pham Quang Minh gave his opening remark at the conference (Photo: Thanh Long/USSH)

In June, 2013, at the Shangri–la Security Dialogue in Singapore, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dzung officially announced that Vietnam is willing to contribute to the peace keeping operations of the United Nations. This statement was reaffirmed to leaders of other nations when the Prime Minister attended the plenary session at the 68th Meeting of UN General Council in New York on September 27th, 2013. With this statement, Vietnam showed its commitment as a member state and contributing to an area of great importance: the maintenance of international peace and security.

In this context, the international conference was held to provide insights on the operations, opinions and experiences of peace keeping operations from different angles and approaches; clarify the new contexts and challenges of peace keeping operations; as well as the new trends of regional and international cooperation in this area and lessons for Vietnam.

Mrs. Edelgard Bulmahn (Vice – President of Der Bundestag, Germany) presented at the conference (Photo: Thanh Long/USSH)

The conference was divided into five sessions as follow:

  • A Changing World Order – What implications for the future of peace operations: aims to unpack the region’s perceptions on the future challenges to  international peace and regional security and their implications for the future of peace operations.
  • Norms and Concepts – A fragile consensus?: aims to unpack existing norms and concepts regarding conflict, intervention and peace operations. Are there specific regional perspectives on relevant norms and concepts? In what regard do they differ from other current perspectives, and how might differences influence the future of peace operations? Will new norms and concepts be introduced?
  • Engagement Objectives: The Politics and Interests of Stakeholders: aims to unpack how participation in peace operations fits in with the overall foreign policy objectives of countries in Southeast Asia. What are the drivers of participation? Are they guided by political, normative or economic considerations? The main questions were: what are the main domestic and foreign objectives of regional governments when participating in peace keeping operations? can we anticipate the future changes of objectives?
  • New Peacekeeping Landscape: Peace operations 2.0?: explore the preconditions and requirements for states and regional organizations in Southeast Asia to support UN peace operations. The main issues for discussion were:  What are the challenges for UN peace keeping operations? How are they addressed? How to maintain or reinforce existing commitments of Southeast Asian countries? What can countries contribute?
  • ASEAN and Peace Operations: explores the current capacity and engagement of ASEAN in the regional and global conflict management in the future. The main contents were: What role is ASEAN playing in the Southeast Asian security architecture and how has it changed in recent years? In the future, what role will ASEAN and UN play in regional and international peace keeping operations? How are ASEAN capacity and structure changed in order to organize peace keeping operations? 

Author: Thanh Ha

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