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Cooperation between the UN and INTERPOL

Introduction by Deputy Ambassador Odd-Inge Kvalheim of the General Assembly draft resolution A/75/L.20: Cooperation between the United Nations and INTERPOL, 23 November 2020.

On behalf of the main sponsors, Brazil and my own country, Norway, I have the honor to introduce draft resolution A/75/L.20, entitled “Cooperation between the United Nations and the International Criminal Police Organization.”

The General Assembly first adopted this resolution, by consensus, in 2016. It has since been reviewed biannually: first in 2018, and again this year. Throughout both reviews, the fundamental threefold purpose of the resolution has remained unchanged: (i) acknowledging and taking stock of the existing cooperation between the United Nations and INTERPOL; (ii) strengthening this cooperation within the respective mandates of both organizations; and (iii) raising awareness among Member States about the role of INTERPOL at the United Nations.

We believe this year’s review, conducted under exceptional circumstances, further strengthens the resolution in line with these objectives. The revisions reflect the evolving relationship between the United Nations and INTERPOL, as well as recent shifts in international criminal justice priorities and activities. It is our hope that the review will further solidify the cooperation between the two organizations, for the benefit of all UN Member States that are also members of INTERPOL.

Among other additions, the revised resolution acknowledges the unprecedented public health and socio-economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the impact of the pandemic on the vulnerabilities that drive, enable and perpetuate criminal activity. Relatedly, it also recognizes the importance of effective and professional policing to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda by Member States, noting the contribution of INTERPOL’s “Global Policing Goals” toward this end, as well as the joint efforts of INTERPOL and the United Nations Department of Peace Operations to develop host state police capacity in mission settings.

Further, the revised resolution urges the United Nations and INTERPOL to deepen their cooperation to promote gender equality in law enforcement, including through equal opportunities for employment, leadership positions and decision-making at all levels of law enforcement agencies, with a view to the empowerment of all women and their full enjoyment of all human rights.

Moreover, the resolution expresses increased concern at the growing trend of cybercrime and the criminal misuse of information and communications technologies. It encourages further cooperation between the United Nations and INTERPOL to assist Member States in addressing these threats, including through the provision of technical assistance and capacity-building activities, upon request and within existing mandates.

Other additions include new text on cooperation between the United Nations and INTERPOL in combatting crimes against cultural property, as well as the role of INTERPOL as a global exchange platform for law enforcement knowledge.

In our view, it is a great achievement to have reached consensus on such important and complex issues – particularly as delegations were confined to unfamiliar and challenging working methods, negotiating wholly online. At a time when the United Nations is struggling to adapt to the unprecedented global disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we believe the successful completion of a substantive and consensual review in this manner is indication that the organization can rise to the challenge. As a result, in this case, the institutional relationship between the United Nations and INTERPOL has been deepened, ultimately strengthening international police cooperation and law enforcement efforts worldwide.

On behalf of the main sponsors Norway and Brazil, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the representatives of all the Member States who actively took part in the consultation process for their constructive inputs. Our thanks also to the members of the Office of the Special Representative of INTERPOL to the United Nations for the excellent technical advice they provided throughout the negotiations. Their valuable guidance and support was greatly appreciated by all delegations.

Finally, we sincerely appreciate the presence today of the Deputy Special Representative of INTERPOL to the United Nations, Ms. Elisabeth Neugebauer, who will address the Assembly later today in support of the resolution.