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The Mission of UN Police

The vision and mission of United Nations police

The Secretary-General, in his report to the Security Council, defined the vision for a people-centred, modern, agile, mobile and flexible, rights-based and norm-driven United Nations police (S/2016/952) (S/2018/1183).

The mission of the United Nations police is to enhance international peace and security by supporting Member States in conflict, post-conflict and other crisis situations to realize effective, efficient, representative, responsive and accountable police services that serve and protect the population (S/2016/952) (S/2018/1183).

The mandate of UN police

Depending on the mandate given by the United Nations Security Council, United Nations police build and support, or, where mandated, act as a substitute or partial substitute for, host-State police capacity to prevent and detect crime, protect life and property and maintain public order and safety in adherence to the rule of law and international human rights law.

United Nations police pursue community-oriented and intelligence-led policing approaches to contribute to the protection of civilians and human rights; address, among other things, sexual and gender-based violence, conflict-related sexual violence and serious and organized crime; and conduct investigations, special operations and electoral security.

The work of the United Nations police is undertaken within a framework which includes the principles of security sector reform, peacebuilding and early peacebuilding for peace operations, and encompasses efforts to prevent the outbreak of or relapse into conflict (see A/69/968-S/2015/490, para. 7). Conflict prevention involves both immediate operational activities (stabilization and physical protection) and longer-term structural prevention (building of political will and national capacity) (see A/55/985-S/2001/574, para. 8) within a larger context, including reconciliation and transitional justice as critical factors for sustainable peace (S/2016/952) (S/2018/1183).

The composition of UN police

The United Nations Police occupy a unique role among the world’s police, with about 11,000 men and women from over 90 countries serving on the frontlines in 14 peace operations (figures as of August 2020). They are deployed as formed police units , individual police officers, which include specialized teams, contracted seconded police and civilian experts, which are deployed in United Nations peace operations.

United Nations police officers are supported by the Police Division of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, with its New York-based sections and the Brindisi-based Standing Police Capacity. At Headquarters, the Police Adviser is responsible for providing strategic advice and support on all policing issues to senior United Nations officials, as well as to heads of police components of operations led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Political Affairs.

The role of legislative bodies

The specific mandates implemented by UN police in each peace operation are established by the United Nations Security Council in its relevant resolutions, whilst the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C34) provides overall guidance to the Department of Peacekeeping Operations on peacekeeping. The General Assembly's Fifth Commitee approves the budgets for each mission.