SHIRBRIG: Ready to deploy

 

Established in 1996 by seven countries, the Multinational Stand-By High Readiness Brigade for United Nations Operations (SHIRBRIG) is a multinational brigade that can be made available to the UN as a rapidly deployable peacekeeping force.

 

The SHIRBRIG initiative has brought together a group of like-minded countries – 15 members and eight observers – committed to reinforce the UN Stand-By Arrangement System through effective and continuous pre-deployment planning, with highly qualified officers. SHIRBRIG promotes interoperability through the establishment of common standards and procedures, as well as joint training of headquarters staff and the officers of the SHIRBRIG assigned units.

 

Experience has proven that the rapid deployment of military assets within the first six to seven weeks after a Security Council mandate is crucial for the success of a peacekeeping operation. In his 1995 statement “Supplement to an Agenda for Peace”, Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali recommended that the UN consider the idea of a rapid deployment force, consisting of units from a number ofMember States, trained to the same standard, using the same operating procedures and interoperable equipment, and taking part in combined exercises at regular intervals.

 

Any deployment of SHIRBRIG must be mandated by the Security Council. Although originally established for UN missions under Chapter VI of the Charter, more robust missions are considered on a case-by-case basis. SHIRBRIG will deploy for a maximum of six months, following which the mission is either terminated or replaced by a non-SHIRBRIG contribution.

 

From 2000 to 2006, SHIRBRIG participated in five UN missions, either with deployments or in support to the planning: UNMEE, UNOCI, UNMIL, UNAMI and UNMIS.

 

A series of SHIRBRIG initiatives have also been taken to assist the African Union and the various African regional organizations in their desire to establish the African Stand-By Forces, a regional initiative based on the SHIRBRIG model.

 

At present, SHIRBRIG has a rapidly deployable permanent staff consisting of 16 officers located in Høvelte,Denmark.Another 100 non-permanent staff officers, who perform duties in and for their home countries, are trained and ready to join the permanent staff in addition to force pool units.

 

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Prepared by the Peace and Security Section, United Nations Department of Public Information.

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