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Cambodia says committed to sending high-quality ‘blue helmets’

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Cambodian peacekeepers prepare to leave Phnom Penh International Airport for a UN mission. NPMEC

Cambodia says committed to sending high-quality ‘blue helmets’

The Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) is determined to maintaining, for each troop dispatched to UN peacekeeping missions, the professional credentials recognised by the international organisation’s officials in the host state, according to a defence ministry spokesman.

Following a Ministry of National Defence first-half review meeting on June 29, Chhum Socheat said his ministry, as well as Prime Minister Hun Sen, are committed to contributing RCAF troops to UN peacekeeping operations, as well as increasing the share of women to 20 per cent from the current 15 per cent – a goal that UN Women Asia and the Pacific (UNW APAC) says Cambodia wants to achieve by 2024.

As of April 30, Cambodia ranked 27th out of a list of 121 countries for most uniformed personnel sent on UN peacekeeping missions, at 781, and 12th for women contributed, at 119, a report from the intergovernmental organisation shows.

The top five contributors of personnel were Bangladesh (6,693), Nepal (5,782), India (5,581), Rwanda (5,290) and Pakistan (4,123), while the same for women were Rwanda (487), Bangladesh (480), Ghana (431), Nepal (393) and Senegal (220).

These include experts on mission, formed police units, individual police, staff officers and troops, UN Peacekeeping noted in the report.

Among ASEAN countries, the Kingdom ranked third for most uniformed personnel contributed, behind Indonesia and Malaysia with 2,675 and 848, respectively, and took the second spot for most women sent, behind Indonesia, with 149.

Meanwhile, Canada on June 29 pledged to continue its support for the National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces, Mines and Explosive Remnants of War Clearance (NPMEC) and peacekeeping training assistance in Cambodia, NPMEC said in a statement.

The vow came at the request of NPMEC director-general Sem Sovanny at a meeting with Canadian Mission to ASEAN charge d’affaires Vicky Singmin and her counterpart from Canada’s embassy in Phnom Penh, Jan Scazighino.

Singmin spoke highly of Cambodian “blue helmets” for their “excellent results” in peacekeeping operations, participation in missions in conflict zones, and demining efforts in the Kingdom, according to the statement.

"She will continue her support for the training of human resources in the field of peacekeeping, as well as convey the proposals and results of the talks to the Canadian government," it said.

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