Expected Council Action
In November, the Security Council will hold its annual briefing with the heads of police components of UN peace operations. The anticipated briefers are: Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix; Christophe Bizimungu, the Police Commissioner of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA); Christine Fossen, the Police Commissioner of the UN Mission in the South Sudan (UNMISS); Faisal Shahkar, the UN Police Adviser; and Karin Landgren, the Executive Director of Security Council Report.
Key Recent Developments
Annual briefings with the heads of police components of UN peace operations began in 2014. Last year, the focus of the briefing was on how to strengthen the contribution of the UN Police (UNPOL) in implementing the Action for Peacekeeping Plus (A4P+) initiative, a set of priorities being implemented in 2021-2023 to accelerate peacekeeping reform. Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix; the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Police Commissioner Christine Fossen; the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) Police Commissioner Mody Berethe; and Emma Birikorang, deputy director at the Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), briefed the Council.
Lacroix explained the role of UNPOL in advancing A4P+ and in strengthening the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations. He mentioned the work of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Policing, which was established in 2021 to facilitate greater coherence between UNPOL and other UN entities involved in aspects of policing and law enforcement, including the UN Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC). Lacroix highlighted the UNPOL’s efforts to enhance strategic communications through social media platforms as well as community-oriented policing and awareness-raising activities. He also referred to gender-responsive policing efforts through a network of gender advisers and police gender focal points.
Fossen spoke about the role of UNPOL in the protection of civilians in the context of UNMISS’ work. Among other matters, Fossen mentioned the outreach activities that UNPOL was conducting in collaboration with the South Sudan National Police Service (SSNPS) to help improve the relationship between law enforcement agencies and the people they serve, especially women and children, youth, and community leaders. She also spoke about the establishment of police-community relations committees in and around internally displaced camps to address concerns about sexual and gender-based violence and conflict-related sexual violence.
Berethe focused his briefing on police personnel performance in MONUSCO. He described the Comprehensive Planning and Performance Assessment System being used to measure the effectiveness of UNPOL on the ground. He described the operational strategy to combat insecurity, a tool used to measure performance in combating crime in urban areas. He also mentioned the training provided to the Congolese National Police in intelligence and investigation techniques on serious organised crime, such as kidnapping for ransom and illicit trafficking in minerals, and various other types of crime.
Birikorang stressed the pre- to post-deployment phases of the UN peacekeeping cycle as an important component of A4P+. She also highlighted the valuable role of UNPOL in strengthening the police services of contributing countries, particularly those undergoing security sector reform, through the diffusion of practical lessons and experiences, and the promotion of institutional norms and standards.
Key Issues and Options
The key issue for Council members will be how to continue strengthening the contribution of UNPOL to realising A4P+ priorities.
Considering the complex challenges facing UN peacekeeping operations, the Chinese presidency may wish to have a broader discussion about this issue. With some of the bigger multidimensional peacekeeping operations undergoing transitions, the role of UNPOL in protecting civilians and building the policing capacity of host countries has become increasingly important.
Council and Wider Dynamics
There is general agreement among Council members about the importance of UNPOL in helping to maintain public order, protect civilians, and assist host states in building their law enforcement capacities. Council members also recognise the critical role UNPOL plays in countries undergoing transition.
At last year’s briefing, some Council members stressed the need for UNPOL to build trust with local populations, welcomed the establishment of the inter-agency task force on policing, and commended UNPOL’s efforts to achieve the Secretary-General’s Uniformed Gender Parity Strategy. They also stressed the need to implement a holistic approach to policing that addresses the nexus of terrorism, violent extremism, and transnational organised crime. Some Council members underscored the need for UNPOL to enhance its cooperation with regional and sub-regional organisations with regard to training, sharing experiences, and exchanging information about policing.
At last year’s UN Chiefs of Police Summit, the United Arab Emirates offered to provide financial support to organise the next UN Chiefs of Police Summit (UNCOPS) meeting in New York in 2024. Ghana will host the 2023 peacekeeping ministerial on 5-6 December, which will provide an opportunity for member states to make pledges to support UNPOL, including through the deployment of formed police units and individual police officers and by providing training and technology.
UN DOCUMENTS ON PEACEKEEPING
|Security Council Resolution|
|9 September 2021S/RES/2594||This unanimously adopted resolution addressed the crucial role peace operations play in the pursuit of sustainable political solutions and building peace and emphasised the need for peace operations to engage at the earliest possible stage in integrated planning and coordination on transitions with the host state and other national stakeholders.|
|Security Council Meeting Record|
|14 November 2022S/PV.9189||This was the annual briefing of the heads of UN police components.|