The Philippines has signed an agreement with the United Nations (UN) on the arrangement of standby forces for peacekeeping operations, the government said on Thursday.
Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo signed the agreement on Contributions to the U.N. Standby Arrangement System with visiting U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Wednesday night, the government said in a statement.
The agreement allows rapid deployment of the Philippine police and military forces to U.N.-manned peacekeeping operations in conflict states when the specific need arise.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo witnessed the signing of the accord that formalized the Philippines' commitment to making available specified resources "that could be made available for U.N. Peacekeeping Operations" within agreed response time.
"The commitment could be in the form of military formation, specialized personnel, services, as well as material and equipment," according to the statement.
The resources agreed upon shall remain on standby in the Philippines where necessary operations, including UN-guided trainings, are conducted, the statement said.
The resources will be used exclusively for peacekeeping operations mandated by the U.N. Security Council, it added.
The Philippines is the 84th member country that has signed such an agreement with the world body.
The Southeast Asian country has been a consistent contributor to U.N. peacekeeping operations since it first deployed an Air Force squadron in 1963 to support the United Nations Mission in Congo. At present, the Philippines has 621 police and military personnel serving in nine U.N. mission areas, including Afghanistan, Koltival, Darfur, Georgia, Haiti, Kosovo, Liberia, Sudan and Timor-Leste.