Pretoria, South Africa – The United Nations (UN), the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and the Swedish government hosted senior police leaders from 60 countries to discuss how to improve police command in peacekeeping operations.
Meeting in Pretoria from 21 – 23 October 2014, the global gathering was part of the UN’s ongoing policy process to enhance the principles and practice of international police peacekeeping. The focus was on effective leadership of police serving in peace operation missions.
‘We need to ensure that police leaders recognise the practical command challenges they face at the strategic, operational and tactical levels during peacekeeping operations’, said Annette Leijenaar, head of the ISS Conflict Management and Peacebuilding division that co-hosted the event.
‘Policing in peace operations has become substantially more complex. The rule of law must be established and upheld by host governments especially in areas where governance and human rights are lacking’.
This is the only thematic meeting of the UN’s ‘Strategic Guidance Framework’ process that has been held in Africa. With police leaders from 24 African countries in attendance, this was an important opportunity for African voices to be heard on the question of how to enhance the UN’s capacity to deal with conflict.
Approximately 60 000 African uniformed and civilian personnel were deployed in 2013 to African-led peace support operations, while a further 35 000 African uniformed personnel took part in UN peacekeeping operations.
‘The ISS is delighted to be part of this important UN policy making process that will improve policing in African and international peace operations’, said Anton du Plessis, Managing Director of ISS.
The ISS will prepare the outcomes report for the meeting. The report will contribute to the guidelines and training standards on Police Command that will be used globally for all UN peace missions.
In February 2014, the Strategic Guidance Framework process produced the ‘United Nations Police in Peacekeeping Operations and Special Political Missions’ policy. It sets out principles for police peacekeepers, such as respect for human rights, gender responsiveness, attending to the needs of the vulnerable, opposing corruption, supporting security sector reform, and the importance of capacity building. These principles ensure that police officers make constructive contributions towards the overall mandates of peace operations.
For more information or interviews contact:
Annette Leijenaar, ISS: +27 82 908 1877, [email protected]