2013 Female Peacekeeper of the Year awarded to Codou Camara
Wednesday, 16 October 2013, Durban | DPKO/DFS
This year, for the first time, the International Female Police Peacekeeper Award was awarded to a French-speaking peacekeeper and African national. Commissioner Codou Camara of Senegal, who currently serves in MINUSTAH, received her award on 23 September 2013 as the Senegalese Inspector General of Police Anna Semou Faye stood by her side.
Giving her acceptance speech at the 51st International Association of Women Police (IAWP) conference held in Durban, South Africa, Ms. Camara explained, “My motivation is to contribute to bringing peace and security to the local population and particularly to build the capacity of national police. I would like to share experiences on issues affecting vulnerable persons.”
Ms. Camara has obtained outstanding results in supporting the advancement of female police officers in Haiti, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In particular, she finalized the special recruitment, equipment and training of 250 female officers in the National Police of Chad. She also helped the Haitian National Police Office on Gender Affairs to create a network of female officers and supported them to develop a gender strategy and action plan. Ms. Camara has more than 25 years of policing experience and six years in international peacekeeping. She joined the National Police of Senegal in 1982 as one of the first two female officers recruited in her country’s police service.
With a delegation of more than 40 female police officers from United Nations peace operations, host-state police services and female police officers from Police Contributing Countries, the United Nations Police Division participated for the fifth time at the International Association of Women Police (IAWP) Annual Training Conference, attended by more than 1,300 police officers from 86 different countries.
This year’s award comes as the UN Police’s Global Effort enters its final year. The goal of this initiative is to increase the number of female police serving in UN peace operations. To raise awareness, the Global Effort has set up a website (www.womenspolicenetwork.org) to connect women police peacekeepers worldwide.
Female police peacekeeper networks have been created in the United Nations Missions in Darfur (UNAMID), South Sudan (UNMISS) and Haiti (MINUSTAH). These UNPOL networks have all played critical roles in helping set up similar networks for the host-state police services in those respective peacekeeping missions.