Defence Minister General Tea Banh yesterday urged the Japanese government to continue supporting and funding the Kingdom by providing additional training and equipment to the armed forces.
He made the request during a closing ceremony of a United Nations peacekeeping operations training programme at the ministry, which was attended by General Nishida Yasunori, Japan’s Vice Minister of Defence for International Affairs who is on a visit to the Kingdom.
He told Gen Yasunori that Cambodia highly values relations between both nations and considers Japan as one of its partners.
Gen Banh noted that Cambodia is still contributing toward peacekeeping and humanitarian work on the international level despite its limited defence resources.
“In order to ensure national security, I would like to request the Japanese government through Gen Yasunori assist Cambodia by providing additional training to our personnel according to their specific functions,” he said. “Scholarships are also needed for our trainees to develop their skills, especially by using advanced technology and equipment.”
Gen Banh said that in the past 13 years, Cambodian personnel have accomplished international tasks such as assisting troop development, law enforcement, demining efforts and infrastructure repairs.
He added that blue helmets have also helped create fortifications, maintain security checkpoints and provide logistical support.
General Sem Sovanny, director-general of the National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces, yesterday said that since 2006, Cambodia has sent 6,053 peacekeepers, including 285 females, to carry out UN peacekeeping missions in Sudan, South Sudan, Lebanon, Cyprus, Syria, Chad, Mali and Central African Republic.
“This is the 13th year that Cambodia has deployed blue helmets to participate in UN missions,” he said. “The country will continue to deploy more forces to conflict countries when there is a request from the UN.”
According to the United Nations’ official website, at the end of 2018 Cambodia ranked 24th out of 123 countries, 10th out of 24 countries in Asia, and 3rd out of 10 Asean countries for contributing the most number of soldiers to UN Peacekeeping Missions.