Bhutan is now the first country to voluntarily pledge rapid deployment troops to the UN peacekeeping missions. According to Business Standard, the Rapid Deployment Level (RDL) agreement was signed on Friday, which the UN has declared “the first of its kind in UN peacekeeping.” The agreement was jointly signed by Atul Kahre, the Under-Secretary-General for Field Support and Bhutan’s Permanent Representative Doma Tshering.
An official statement was released which said that the Force Protection Company from Bhutan is going to be a part of the Vanguard Brigade of the Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System (UNPCRS) which will be able to deploy troops within 60 days of a request by the Secretary-General. The Vanguard Brigades is utilised by the UN to provide a military element to a new peacekeeping mission area or reinforce an existing mission with a swift response time. The UNPCRS is focussed on dealing with conflicts and unstable situations before they potentially escalate. This is in contrast to the standard deployment process that takes several months to mobilise troops on the ground.
Atul Khare has stated that Bhutan’s pledge is “a great example of commitment to the ideals of a nimble, effective UN peacekeeping.” Presently, Bhutan has 45 military and police personnel- of which 2 are women- that serve in 10 UN peacekeeping operations. These personnel are concentrated in the Darfur mission of Sudan that has a total of 22 peacekeepers from Bhutan.