UN Police Week kicks off with Security Council resolution

Wednesday, 08 November 2017

Heads of United Nations Police components from peacekeeping and special political missions are in New York from 6-10 November, to brief the Security Council on UN policing, including in Mali (MINUSMA), Haiti (MINUJUSTH) and Sudan (UNAMID). On Monday, the Security Council adopted a resolution [S/Res/2017(2382)] highlighting the important contribution of UN policing to conflict prevention and peace. The resolution provides direction on ensuring accountability and, ultimately, improving performance.

“From the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the Central African Republic, from South Sudan to Haiti, United Nations police provide operational support, assist in the reform of police services, and, when the need arises and where appropriately mandated, undertake interim policing functions,” said Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, during the Security Council briefing.

The Security Council resolution highlights the changing conflict dynamics that have altered the environments in which United Nations police operate. More than 11,000 police officers from 89 countries serve the UN in peacekeeping and special political missions across the entire peace and security spectrum, from conflict prevention to peacekeeping and peacebuilding.

During the week, Police Commissioners will also meet with the Secretary-General, brief the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, and speak with senior UN officials about making UN Police more nimble and effective.

One major initiative of the United Nations Police is to recruit more police women, with a target set at 20 per cent by 2020. It is currently at 10 per cent - with 1118 female officers from 70 countries serving in our missions. More police women are important because they increase the trust of the population by representing the society they serve. They also often have better access to protect women and children. This is in line with the Secretary-General’s System-wide Strategy on Gender Parity Strategy.

The United Nations Police assist host states in reforming their police and other law enforcement institutions. UN police also prevents crime and further escalation of conflict. Thus, it responds to some of the most pervasive local, regional and global threats.

The United Nations Police is composed of formed police units (66 per cent) and individual police officers (34 per cent).