NPA provincial program manager first Vietnamese to brief UN Security Council under rule 39

Norwegian People’s Aid’s Regional Programme Manager in Vietnam, Nguyen Thi Dieu Linh, gave her expert opinion on Mine Action in the UN Security Council in April 2021. Photo: NGUYEN A

Nguyen Thi Dieu Linh, Provincial Programme Manager at Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) in Vietnam has become the first Vietnamese individual to brief the Security Council under Rule 39, which invites ‘competent individuals’ to share their expertise on the matter under debate during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on 8 April this year.

Nguyen Thi Dieu Linh has worked for NPA since 2010 and despite having no prior knowledge about mine action she has determinedly learned as much as she could, and moved up through NPA’s ranks from first being a translator to Operations Assistant, then Operations Officer, then Operations Manager and now to Provincial Programme Manager.

Nguyen Thi Dieu Linh was invited to address the Security Council during an open debate on “Mine action and sustaining peace: Stronger partnerships for better delivery” which was convened by the Government of Vietnam under their Council Presidency. She was welcomed by the words, “Landmines, improvised explosive devices and explosive remnants of war represent the worst of humanity. But efforts to eradicate them reflect humanity at its best.” from United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. The words also reflect NPA’s dedication to restore the environment and neutralize the effects of the war in Vietnam. 

Not only is Nguyen Thi Dieu Linh responsible for all NPA’s activities in Quang Tri province, from overseeing finance and operations to donor reporting to coordinating with provincial authorities and partners, she is also a wife and mother of two who grew up in a mountainous area in the southwest corner of Quang Tri province.

Quang Tri province is home to the 17th Parallel, the demilitarized zone drawn to divide North and South Vietnam from 1954 to 1975 and in many ways synonymous with the Vietnam War and reminiscent of the conflict that devastated the province less than 50 years ago. 

Read the full profile interview with Nguyen Thi Dieu Linh and much more about her mine action work, what drives her and how it felt to speak for the UN Security Council’s Open Debate here.

In her interview, Nguyen Thi Dieu Linh also shares her determination to continue with her NPA Vietnam teams in joint efforts to contribute to addressing the explosive ordnance contamination and bringing safety to the local people of Vietnam. 

NPA Vietnam’s all-female battle area clearance team – the first of its kind in Vietnam. Nearly a third of People’s Aid’s employees in Vietnam are women. Photo: HIEN NGO/NPA

About Mette Larsen

ScandAsia Journalist • Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. • Thailand

View all posts by Mette Larsen

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