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Officials of Interpol and the United Nations announced the two organizations will begin more closely collaborating in peacekeeping operations in nations ravaged and torn by war and organized crime. The declaration, which some are calling a clear move toward a global police force, occurred at Interpol’s 78th General Assembly, held in Singapore and attended by about 800 delegates from 187 member countries and the UN.
Interpol (International Criminal Police Organization) Secretary General Ronald K. Noble described the partnership as “an alliance of all nations.”
Over 60 justice, interior and foreign affairs ministers, along with senior law enforcement officers from around the world, consented to Interpol’s involvement in UN efforts to strengthen the role of police forces to maintain law and order. The plan is expected to shift from peacekeeping to peace-building operations in countries in crisis. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a video message, assured the gathering that the international organization fully supports the initiative.
During the meeting, participating governments, the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Interpol acknowledged that, in addition to military forces, international police peacekeeping is vital, especially in post-conflict zones.
Andrew Hughes, current head of the U.N.’s force of police officers explained in The New York Times that organized crime functions as would any other corporation. He called it “a business that looks for opportunity to expand their market enterprise…When you have a breakdown in police and courts and corrections, organized crime is ripe,” which “gives birth to the toxic effect of corruption” and makes it “difficult to build a functioning society.”
Clarifying his organization’s role in the alliance, Interpol’s Director of Legal Affairs, Joel Sollier, stated, “Interpol is not going to send troops out into the field here and there throughout the world. What Interpol is going to do is provide technical assistance, technical support” (AFP).
General Noble described the relationship in a statement: “In the framework of our partnership with the UN, Interpol will provide deployed police peacekeepers with access to the world’s only secure global police communications system; global police databases including names of criminals, fingerprints, DNA profiles, stolen passports, and stolen vehicles; and specialized investigative support in key crime areas, including fugitives, drugs, terrorism, trafficking in human beings and corruption.
Mr. Noble noted the alliance will make it possible for the UN to handle international conflicts and transnational crime much better by relying on Interpol’s resources.
The alliance, according to The New York Times, will favor recruiting women in particular, and will work toward increasing female UN force numbers to 20 percent. This includes new, all-female units like the soon-to-be-deployed group of 140 peacekeepers from Bangladesh. Mr. Hughes said the motivation for the new units was that “Many of the victims of atrocities are women, and they’ve had enough of men with guns and uniforms.”
During the next year, world leaders of the two international organizations are scheduled to draw up a plan of action to further solidify the partnership.