Rapid Deployment Level (RDL) agreement between the United Nations and The Royal Government of Bhutan
The United Nations is grateful to the Royal Government of Bhutan for its pledge of a Force Protection Company to the United Nations Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System (UNPCRS), following the signature of an agreement today between Under-Secretary-General for Field Support Atul Khare and the Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Bhutan to the United Nations, H.E. Doma Tshering.
Through this Rapid Deployment Level (RDL) agreement – the first of its kind in UN peacekeeping – with the Royal Government of Bhutan that currently provides 45 peacekeepers to ten UN field operations, the Bhutanese Force Protection Company will be able to deploy within 60 days of a request by the Secretary-General.
This important move stems from the 2015 report of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations which recommended the creation of a Vanguard Brigade to allow the UN to quickly insert a military capability into a new mission area or reinforce an existing mission.
This agreement signed by the Royal Government of Bhutan represents the highest level of readiness by a troop or police-contributing country under the UNPCRS, created in 2015 as part of the Strategic Force Generation and Capability Planning mechanism with four levels of readiness of registered capabilities. Through a General Assembly Resolution adopted in July 2017 (A/RES/71/296), the UN also provides Member States with financial compensation to maintain their equipment during the period the unit is registered to the RDL.
“This pledge by the Royal Government of Bhutan is a great example of commitment to the ideals of a nimble, effective UN peacekeeping”, Under-Secretary-General Atul Khare stated after the signing which took place at the UN Headquarters. “This landlocked, mountain country is at the vanguard of this approach, contributing to the establishment of a pool of capabilities for rapid deployment when required”, he added.
Ambassador Tshering expressed her “great satisfaction” at being the first troop-contributing country to conclude such an agreement with the Secretariat: “It is a significant progression of our deepening partnership with the UN in an area of its central mandate,” said the Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Bhutan to the United Nations. “As a small, developing country, we deeply appreciate this recognition of our growing capability to contribute to the implementation of the UN peacekeeping operations.”
The Kingdom of Bhutan’s commitment to advance the ideals of the United Nations is also visible in its support to the Trust Fund for victims of sexual exploitation and abuse, as well as through being one of the 77 signatories of the Voluntary Compact on Preventing and Addressing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.