UN Official Commends Bhutan’s Contributions to Peacekeeping Efforts

The Under Secretary General (USG) for Peace Operations of the United Nations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, expressed the organization’s willingness to explore additional deployment options in collaboration with Bhutanese authorities during his visit to Bhutan.

Lacroix acknowledged Bhutan’s commendable efforts in training and preparing its military and police units for peacekeeping missions, and assured Bhutan of the UN’s support in this endeavor.

Recognizing the pride of the Bhutanese people in contributing to the UN’s peacekeeping mission since September 2014, the USG applauded the excellent experience the UN has had with Bhutanese peacekeepers.

“We are proud of Bhutan’s contributions to the UN and peacekeeping,” stated Lacroix. Bhutanese peacekeepers have served in seven operations, with the largest contingent stationed in the Central African Republic (CAR).

Lacroix also expressed the UN’s willingness to explore other deployment options in collaboration with Bhutanese authorities. However, he cautioned that the timing and availability of deployment opportunities can be unpredictable due to changing mission needs and closures.

“Nevertheless, given our positive experience with Bhutan, we will certainly consider Bhutan for future deployments if suitable opportunities arise,” he added.

During his recent visit to CAR, the USG personally met with the Bhutanese contingent serving there. He commended the Bhutanese peacekeepers for their high level of preparedness, professionalism, and dedication to their mission.

“The contributions of Bhutanese peacekeepers have not only benefited the CAR but have also made a positive impact on peace and stability in the entire region,” Lacroix remarked.

Furthermore, the USG encouraged Bhutan to deploy more women in peacekeeping operations to facilitate effective trust-building with communities and serve as role models for both women and men in the pursuit of peace.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Dr. Tandi Dorji, Jean-Pierre Lacroix visited Bhutan from June 30 to July 3. This visit marks the first high-level visit to Bhutan from the Department of Peace Operations of the UN Secretariat, which provides political and executive direction to UN peacekeeping operations worldwide.

During his visit, the USG had an audience with His Majesty The King and met with Prime Minister Dr. Lotay Tshering, Foreign Minister Dr. Tandi Dorji, the Chief Operations Officer of the Royal Bhutan Army, Lt. General Batoo Tshering, and other senior officials of the Royal Government.

Lacroix also visited the UN Peacekeeping Centre at Taba, Bhutan’s UN contingent location at Shaba, and explored places of historical and cultural interest during his three-day visit to Bhutan. He concluded his visit today.

Lyonchhen, the Prime Minister of Bhutan, welcomed the USG and expressed gratitude for trusting Bhutan in the deployment of the country’s peacekeepers. He shared His Majesty The King’s aspirations for global peace and the commitment to provide efficient peacekeeping contingents.

“The Bhutanese government wants to offer its best, and although we may not be able to provide a large contingent, we will ensure the quality of our peacekeepers and leverage the latest technology and green energy in our camps,” stated the Prime Minister. He also emphasized a zero-tolerance policy for disciplinary misconduct.

According to a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, the visit by the USG will further strengthen the close working partnership between the United Nations and Bhutan in maintaining international peace and security. The visit coincides with the 75th anniversary of UN peacekeeping and provides an opportunity to discuss ways to enhance the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations.

Notably, Bhutan is the only peacekeeping member nation to pledge measures aimed at reducing its carbon footprint and minimizing the impact on the local environment and natural resources when deploying its contingents.

The USG emphasized that protecting the environment and combating climate change are top priorities for the UN. “This is why we strongly support the kind of initiative that Bhutan is taking,” he stated. “Having a UN peacekeeping force that is not only effective but also respectful of the environment where we are deployed has been a major priority.”

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