The UN Police Division is hosting the second annual workshop of the Serious and Organized Crime Focal Point Network from 11 to 13 September in New York.
The workshop, an activity of the Police Division-led Transnational Threats (TNT) Project, brings together focal points from 11 field missions and partners to develop strategies, exchange good practices and enhance technical capacities through interactive discussions and exercises. Experts from the Justice and Corrections Service of the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and INTERPOL are also participating.
Working together as one to address serious and organized crime
Calling serious and organized crime one of the greatest threats to the implementation of United Nations mandates and the safety and security of peacekeepers and host-state communities, UN Police Adviser Luis Carrilho commended the Network for enabling broad cooperation to address this challenge.
“By delivering as one, we have been able to work collaboratively and foster synergies while bearing in mind that our primary partners are host countries’ security institutions and justice systems”, Mr. Carrilho said in his welcome remarks.
Thanking the government of Germany for its support to the TNT Project, Mr. Carrilho cited several achievements facilitated by the project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali and the Central African Republic.
Making progress on the ground
The major objectives of the project, which is being implemented by the UN Police Division Serious and Organized Crime (SOC) Team, are to ensure greater coherence across UN field missions to deliver support to address transnational threats; and enhanced operational and technical capacity of UN and host-state police and other law enforcement agencies to respond to such crime phenomena.
An important activity, among others, is a sub-project related to the enhancement of the capacities of INTERPOL police and other law enforcement officers in the Central African Republic and UNPOL through the provision of technical assistance and training. The first successful pilot, conducted from 21 May to 1 June 2018 in Bangui in cooperation with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), will pave the way for similar initiatives to advance UNPOL capacity-building mandates.
In Mali UNPOL MINUSMA has engaged in a comprehensive and strategic partnership with their counterparts from the Malian Security Forces (MSF). Training sessions have comprised crime scene management, post-blast investigations, lab analysis, and extraction and analysis of digital device contents, along with capacity-building activities for the MSF. The Police Component also delivered specialized training and equipment to the Malian Anti-Drugs Office.
Good cooperation with the DRC
The Serious and Organized Crime Support Unit (SOCSU) of the Police Component of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) developed a dedicated curriculum for the Congolese National Police on the collection of police-related information. Training given to national police officers covered topics such as reconnaissance, surveillance and tactical photography. The main objective was to strengthen the unit’s operational capabilities in terms of surveillance activities (monitoring drug trafficking zones and increasing awareness of drug dealers’ modus operandi, for example) and the collection of evidence for investigative and judicial purposes.
With the support of the government of Germany, United Nations field missions and strategic partners, the SOC Team continues to progress the implementation of the TNT Project and will further work with missions to provide training and technical assistance to connect or reconnect, where needed, the host-state police to the global policing community using INTERPOL platforms, among others.