20 November 2014 - Security Council - The role of policing in peacekeeping and post-conflict peacebuilding- Statement by Mr. Alexis Lamek, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
At the outset, I too would like to thank Mr. Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, and each of the Police Commissioners for their concise and very useful message, which allows us to take stock of the importance of the role played by police components in peacekeeping operations, a message that we also understand relates to the challenges we face. Through them, I would also like to pay tribute to the women and men who make up these police components. I pay tribute to them for their commitment and devotion in the service of the cause that we are defending at the United Nations.
I would also like to thank you, Madam President, for organizing today’s debate and for the first Security Council resolution 2185 (2014) on United Nations police, a resolution that recognizes a major evolution in peacekeeping operations.
That transformation can be explained by the transformation in the international strategic environment and the evolution of conflicts, which have led to systematizing the presence of police components in peacekeeping operations. Police components are today making a vital contribution, and I think that has been clearly acknowledged in the stabilization of situations.
I wish to emphasize three major aspects of the increased role of police in peacekeeping operations.
First, in qualitative terms, the effective contribution of police components to civilian protection, together with other components of peacekeeping operations, requires that police and gendarmes be well equipped, not only for their own protection but also when it comes to the necessary communication resources for a strong chain of command and to serve as responsive mobile units. They need to be trained for specific missions, notably in combating violence against women and children, as many of us have stated. The deployment of women police officers is an essential aspect for reassuring vulnerable victims of human rights violations. Achieving that goal is vital, as local police will help to progressively rebuild trust between the population and local police forces.
Secondly, these changes require more staff and expertise — a message that the Police Commissioners have related. Apart from traditional public security tasks, United Nations mission police components are also being asked to participate in rebuilding and developing the policing capacities of host countries. In liaison with host countries, police components of peacekeeping missions now need to be further supported through more specialization, based on specific recognized expertise as well as the ability of police to speak the host country’s languages. The great success of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti team, which is responsible for training Haitian police to combat sexual violence and gender-based violence, I believe is a good example. Robust mobilization by Member States should make it possible to further deploy such teams for peacekeeping operations in host countries. On that issue, we should also focus on the need to transfer to host countries standardized norms, not national police expertise, to facilitate national ownership. I welcome in that respect the work already done and under way by the Police Division of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, which for several years has been establishing operational guidelines and standards, notably the Strategic Guidance Framework for International Police Peacekeeping.
Thirdly, the fight against organized crime to support the host country and to rebuild its capacities should be an integral part of policing activities during peacekeeping operations. Transnational organized crime is sometimes associated with terrorism, and a global response is needed. We believe that greater cooperation among the Secretariat, host countries, regional and subregional organizations, INTERPOL and regional police organizations could be achieved through training and the sharing of operational information and expertise. Of course, that should be accompanied by ever-closer cooperation between the police and justice sectors that is in line with the same final objective, that is, rebuilding the population’s trust and neutralizing criminals, thereby making it possible to rebuild the rule of law. In that regard, following on a question raised by other delegations, I would like to ask Police Commissioner Carrilho if he could tell us a bit more about the joint task force in Bangui, particularly its role in civilian protection. We believe that to be a very interesting development that could perhaps serve as a model for other United Nations policing activities.
In conclusion, I would like to underscore that United Nations policing challenges remain numerous. They include the need for good coordination between police components and civilian and military components, the requisite ownership on the part of host countries of the efforts carried out by peacekeeping operations, the use of modern technologies to protect personnel in carrying out their tasks and, as I already mentioned, the ability to speak the host country language in order to restore confidence between the local population and State institutions. All of that should enable us to have United Nations police who are more professional and effective.
The recommendations of the panel of experts on the strategic review of peacekeeping should provide useful proposals in that regard. France looks forward with great interest to receiving those recommendations, and reiterates its readiness to contribute to this debate.