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Police in the UN architecture

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative May-Elin Stener at the Group of Friends of the UN Police, 22 May 2017.

| Group of Friends of UN Police

Thank you, Ambassador Jürgen Schulz, for hosting us here today on a very timely topic. The Group of Friends is an important platform to discuss UN Police related matters, and we are grateful to Germany for spearheading this initiative.

Let me also thank the Under-Secretary-General Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Assistant-Secretary-General Dmitry Titov, Mr. Tamrat Samuel and the UN Police Adviser Stefan Feller, for taking your time to meet us Member States to discuss how to place the UN police in the larger peace and security architecture.

We can all agree that the landscape in which the UN operates today is very different from the situation only a couple of decades ago. The UN increasingly operates in contexts where conflicts are protracted, where there is no peace to keep, and where the warring parties are within and not between States. The growing complexity demands a more agile and flexible UN on the ground.

The centrality of the UN police in peace operations has only increased with these developments. The UN police is in a unique position to contribute in peacekeeping, peacebuilding, and conflict prevention. Through community policing, capacity building and operational assistance, the UN police helps the host nation to rebuild trust in its Rule of Law institutions, which is a necessary first step towards peace.

However, our police on the ground can only deliver if the backstopping functions at Headquarters are fit for task. Norway therefore warmly welcomes the Secretary-General’s initiative to review the peace and security architecture and functions of the Secretariat.

As you all know, there was a similar review exercise for the UN police last year when an independent panel reviewed the capacities and functions of the Police Division, as a follow-up to the HIPPO-report. Many of its recommendations were reflected in the Secretary-General’s report on the UN police from last November.

The purpose of the review was exactly this: to make sure that our women and men on the ground are provided the support they need, and ensure that the capacities and working structure at the Headquarter supports the future direction of the UN police.

Now this takes me to the question: where do we see the UN in the future and how are we going to get there?

Norway believes the future UN police:

  • has an increasingly central role in the different phases of peace operations;
  • is mandated to take on new tasks when new situation arises;
  • delivers the capacity that the host nations need;
  • and upholds the highest ethical and human rights standards.

For this we need:

  • a well-informed Security Council that can develop tailor-made mandates on policing that are task-driven, sequenced and contextualized;
  • one, streamlined way of doing UN policing, through a standardized framework;
  • and recruitment processes that select personnel with the right skills.

Now what does this mean for the UN police in the UN peace and security architecture?

First, the increasing centrality of the UN police in UN peace operations must be reflected at Headquarters, which means that the UN police deserves a prominent place in the DPKO structure.

Second, the resources and capacities at Headquarters must match the growing tasks in the field.

Third, the establishment of a Police Advisory Committee under the Security Council would be conducive to the preparation of more detailed and tailor-made mandates.

Finally, we believe many answers can be found in the recommendations of the external review, and we stand ready to support its implementation.

We are excited to follow this review process, and look forward to discussing these matters further with you.

Thank you.