Global Top Cops to Help Strengthen Peace and Security in United Nations Operations
The 2nd UN Chiefs of Police Summit (UNCOPS) Brought together Ministers, Chiefs of Police, Gendarmerie and police representatives from up to 193 countries on 20-21 June at UNHQ in New York, where they were able to chart a vision for UN Police and elicit commitments to strengthen its ability to effectively prevent and address security threats before they transcend borders.
“When our police officers walk the beat, they interact with local communities, establish trust, collect early warning signs and help our missions to better respond to threats to civilians,” says Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations. “Equally important is UNPOL’s work with host-State counterparts in prioritizing the protections of civilians in their police responses and training them to perform their tasks.”
Building on ongoing reform and the Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping initiative to improve peacekeeping, this historic summit took stock of UN policing efforts, including what it takes for UN Police to perform effectively and realize the Secretary-General’s vision of “a transformed UN Police that is people-centered, mission-oriented, modern, agile, mobile and flexible, specialized and rights-based”.
Participants discussed how peace operations and national policing complements can mutually reinforce each other when addressing current and emerging challenges.
For UN Police Advisor Luis Carrilho, “United Nations Police is essential to reach the ‘end state’ of peacekeeping: for preventing conflict and for building and sustaining peace”.
United Nations Police has undergone a dramatic transformation since the first deployment of UN police to the United Nations Mission in the Congo in 1960. With the advent of complex, multidimensional peacekeeping operations, UNPOL has evolved into a dynamic, full-fledged police service and a central pillar of the UN’s peace operations.
Today, around 11,000 male and female police officers from 89 countries are deployed in 16 UN peace operations.