Security Council Briefing: UN Peacekeeping Operations: Police Commissioners

Statement by H.E. Lise Gregoire-van Haaren,
Deputy Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations

New York, 6 November 2018

Thank you, Mr. President,

And on behalf of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, I would like to express my sincere thanks to all the briefers, ASG Zouev, Mrs. Reitano, the Police Commissioners of UNMISS, MONUSCO and MINUJUSTH, for their excellent and very concrete briefings. And I thank you, you’ve been all highlighting different aspects of UN policing that are very relevant to the discussion today. And I realize that there are more Police Commissioners in the room than that actually spoke on the floor, so please allow me to thank you all and your teams for the very important work that you do. You have our full support.

Police officers are key players in the security architecture and the integrated approach and focus on other security aspects than the military does.

Please allow me to focus on three important aspects of policing in UN peacekeeping operations:

  • First, the need to strengthen the Rule of Law through policing;
  • Second, the role of UN police in preventing and addressing serious organised crime;
  • And third, the importance of gender-responsive policing.

1. Strengthening rule of law through policing

Mr. President, strengthening the rule of law through police reform is one of the key tasks of UN Police in post-conflict situations. Individual Police Officers play a vital role in building capacity and contribute to reforms of the judicial chain. The effective deployment of UN Police will have a positive impact on trust, inclusiveness and sustaining peace.

This strengthens the sovereignty of the host-country. Therefore, UN Police have a vital role to play during transitions and in exit-strategies.

UN Police also have a connecting role between the mission and the population. They help increase trust between the mission and the population, but also between the warring parties. We see this for example in the role UNPOL plays during the elections-related activities in the big cities in the DRC.

The role of UN police is essential in a people-centred approach. For this reason, the Kingdom of the Netherlands strongly believes that the Council should increase the relative percentage of UN police officers in peacekeeping operations.

In order to strengthen the support of the UN in peace operations, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Cote d’Ivoire want to work together with Council members to adopt a resolution on Police, Justice and Corrections.

2. Preventing and addressing organised crime

Mr. President, my second point concerns the need to address organized crime in conflict. Often we talk about the need to address root causes of conflict. Financial gains from organized crime are a source of income that fund insurgent groups and terrorists and thereby perpetuate the cycle of conflict.

One way in which missions can address this, is by developing sustainable host-state capacity to address serious and organized crime. For example in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the illegal exploitation of natural resources directly funds armed groups.

In line with the A4P-Declaration, I would like to stress the importance of pre-deployment training of police officers, in accordance with the human rights due diligence policy. The right people need to be deployed in the right place at the right time, taking advantage of their specific police specialization.

3. Gender-responsive policing

Mr. President, thirdly, I want to emphasize the importance of gender-responsive policing. Gender-responsive policing increases trust amongst the population, including in their national police force.

To build trust, both male and female officers need to be involved in day and night patrols. Having a good mix of female and male police officers is essential to address sexual and gender based violence, to support victims and to help to ensure that the perpetrators are held to account.

This is especially relevant in South Sudan, where the deployment of more female police officers is needed to mitigate the risk of sexual and gender based violence in and around IDP camps.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Mr. President, the UN Police have a vital role to play towards long-term stability and sustaining peace in peacekeeping settings. Therefore we are looking forward to receiving the SG report on policing which was announced in Security Council Resolution 2382, today exactly a year ago.

Policing needs to be mainstreamed in the UN system. It is an indispensable dimension in peacekeeping missions as well as its integrated role together with justice and corrections in the broader justice chain.

It should be a common interest and responsibility to all and I highlight the need for the appropriate position of UN Police including the Police Advisor to be more adequately equipped to fulfil their key role in prevention and in sustaining peace. 

Let me express my sincere gratitude to the Secretariat for their support, the Police Commissioners for their leadership, UNMISS, MONUSCO and MINUJUSTH for their invaluable and relentless efforts in supporting the people of these countries and to all PCCs for their indispensable contributions.

I thank you very much.

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