Expected Council Action
In November, the Council will receive a briefing on UN policing from Under-Secretary-General for UN Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix and the heads of police components of three UN peacekeeping operations: Unaisi Lutu Vuniwaqa, UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Police Commissioner; Awale Abdounasir, UN Organization Stabilization Operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) Police Commissioner; and Serge Therriault, UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) Police Commissioner. No formal outcome is anticipated from the meeting.
Key Recent Developments
Briefings with the heads of police components have been held in the Council annually since 2014. The most recent of these, held on 6 November 2017, featured a briefing from Lacroix and the heads of police components from the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), MINUJUSTH, and the AU/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).
During the meeting, Lacroix outlined how UN police components work to achieve mission mandates. First, he noted that UN police employ the Strategic Framework for International Police Peacekeeping, which strives to “focus not only on the transfer of basic skills but also on strengthening host-State police institutions”. Second, he underscored the role of UN police in protecting civilians through physical protection and community engagement and information-gathering that inform responses to threats. Third, Lacroix highlighted the collaboration between UN police and host-state authorities in fighting organised crime. Fourth, he emphasised the key role that women play in UN policing by mentoring future police leaders, “increas[ing] access to justice for women and children at risk and improv[ing] information gathering and analysis by reaching vulnerable groups”. The other briefers highlighted many of the points made by Lacroix.
Resolution 2382, adopted at the 2017 meeting, stressed the important role of UN policing with respect to the protection of civilians, capacity-building, and the development efforts of host-state police services. It further called on the Secretary-General to provide a report on UN policing by the end of 2018, focused on “strengthening the operational and policy coherence of UN policing across the UN system”, among other issues. The report is expected to be finalised before the end of the calendar year, but likely not in time for the briefing.
Key Issues and Options
One key issue that may be addressed by some members is the role of UN policing in the context of the Declaration of Shared Commitments on UN Peacekeeping Operations, currently signed by 150 member states. This could include, for example, a focus on how UN policing can most effectively advance political solutions to conflict, protect civilians, and strengthen peacekeeping’s impact on sustaining peace.
In past years, the briefings with the heads of police components have included interaction between briefers and Council members. If that is the case this year—a matter yet to be determined at press time—members may pose questions directly to the heads of the police components, an opportunity usually not available in Council briefings. It seems that the briefings will focus on strategic priorities of UN police components (Lacroix), protection of civilians through gender-responsive policing by UNMISS (Vuniwaqa), preventing and addressing serious and organised crime by MONUSCO (Abdounasir), and strengthening the rule of law through police reform by MINUJUSTH (Therriault).
There is widespread support for UN policing in peace operations for such matters as helping host states to promote the rule of law, strengthen their national policing capacities, and fight organised crime. Some members note the role of policing across the entire peace continuum (encompassing prevention, conflict resolution, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and long-term development), but Russia has underscored that UN policing should be restricted to conflict situations where missions are deployed. Some members may emphasise the importance of enhancing women’s participation in UN policing during the briefing.
UN Documents on Peacekeeping
|Security Council Resolutions|
|6 November 2017 S/RES/2382||This was a resolution, unanimously adopted, stressing the important contribution UN policing can provide in peacekeeping and special political missions throughout the conflict cycle across the entire peace continuum.|
|Security Council Meeting Records|
|6 November 2017 S/PV.8086||This was a briefing on the role of UN policing in peacekeeping operations. The Council was briefed by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix and the police commissioners from MINUSMA in Mali, MINUJUSTH in Haiti, and UNAMID in Darfur.|