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The United Nations Standing Police Capacity (SPC) is the rapidly deployable operational asset of the Police Division[1] based at the UN Global Service Centre (UNGSC) in Brindisi, Italy. The SPC provides police and law enforcement start-up and surge capabilities for peacekeeping operations and special political missions. The SPC advises and provides expertise on police and law enforcement, including preventing violent conflict and sustaining peace, by assisting United Nations missions in the maintenance of law and order, protection of civilians and police capacity-building. The SPC can also conduct operational assessments, evaluations and quality assurance of police components, including assisting in mission transitions, drawdowns and closures, as well as supporting other UN entities as directed by the United Nations Police Adviser.

The SPC consists of 36 officers with specialist knowledge and experience across multiple disciplines, including leadership management, police reform and restructuring, public order, transnational organized crime, community-oriented policing, legal affairs, analysis, training, planning, logistics, budget and funds management, human resources, information and communication technology, environmental policing, investigations and gender advisory services.

In 2021, SPC undertook the below projects in line with its core functions:

  • MINUSMA (Mali): Support for developing and finalizing the Adaptation Plan for the UN Police and in capacity building.
  • MONUSCO (Democratic Republic of the Congo): Support a) to cover the position of Deputy Police Commissioner on an interim basis; b) on police reform; c) on gender and the Specialized Police Team on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV); d) on the transition and drawdown; and e) for finalizing the Joint Police Reform Security Program (JSRP).
  • UNMISS (South Sudan): Support a) on strategic planning; b) on the development of the co-location framework for the provision of technical advice and capacity-building to the South Sudan National Police Service; and c) in the conduct of the Military and Police Capability Study.
  • MINUSCA (Central African Republic): Development and delivery of a professional development workshop (virtual /online).

The SPC may also be requested to provide expertise to other UN partners, such as the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) as well as UN Agencies, Funds, and Programmes through, in particular, the Global Focal Point for Police, Justice and Corrections (GFP). SPC also receives requests for assistance from intergovernmental and regional organizations, in addition to Member States that do not host a UN peace operation. Furthermore, SPC may provide training support to Member States or regional organizations and conduct specialized training courses for UN Police officers serving in the field. Interventions in 2021 included:

  • BINUH: Organized crime, strategic planning, operational planning and interim leadership.
  • GFP Libya: GFP assessment.
  • OHCHR Uganda: Capacity-building activities for security and law enforcement agencies.
  • UNDP and Resident Coordinator in The Gambia: Election security.
  • UNDP Zambia: Support to the Zambia Police Service (ZPS) on election security.
  • UNIOGBIS: Strategic and technical advice and support to the Office of Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General/Resident Coordinator in view of the transition.
  • UNITAMS: Support during the start-up phase of the UNITAMS Police Advisory Unit (PAU), participation in the Advance Team for UNITAMS Ceasefire Working Group and in the Darfur Permanent Ceasefire Monitoring Committee (PCC), and Sudan Police Force support on SGBV.
  • UNITAR Mali: Joint scoping mission, capacity building and training on election security.
  • UNOCA: Scoping mission.
  • UNOWAS: Interim leadership as UNOWAS Police Adviser.
  • UNSMIL: Support to the Ceasefire Monitoring Mechanism.