Peacekeeping Chief Cites ‘Huge’ Civilian Protection Challenges’ for Police, Urging Security Council to Assess Improvements, Tools Required
Commissioners Brief on Capacity Issues, Fighting Crime, Other Mandated Tasks
Huge challenges faced United Nations Police in protecting civilians, and there was a need to assess how the environment for police work could be improved and what tools were required, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations told the Security Council today.
As the Council held its annual dialogue on the role of police in United Nations peacekeeping operations, Under-Secretary-General Hervé Ladsous said that, since women and children were particularly vulnerable in conflict situations, there should be enough women among the staff of peacekeeping police components, and expressed hope that the staffing target of 20 per cent of staffing by women could be achieved in the near future.
He said that assistance for building the capacity of host-State security institutions was clearly essential for supporting local political processes. The recommendations of a recent evaluation by the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) suggested how to better align such assistance with available resources, he added.
Turning to the question of sexual abuse and exploitation, he said police components of United Nations peace operations had been trying to implement the zero-tolerance policy and played a particular role in preventing such conduct, and in providing assistance to victims.
The Council also heard from the police commissioners of four United Nations peacekeeping operations, invited to participate in the discussion in observance of “United Nations Police Week”.
Bruce Munyambo, Police Commissioner of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), said his force had faced some “very significant” challenges in protecting civilians and engaging communities throughout 2016. Describing community engagement as a key factor underpinning all Mission police activities, he said the security context was placing significant demands on his force. One lesson learned was the importance of ensuring that all police officers not only had the relevant skill set, but also the right mind set to respond quickly and appropriately to crisis situations, he said.
Priscilla Makotese, Police Commissioner of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) said that her force prioritized supporting civilians and creating a protective environment through community-oriented policing. Gender-sensitive policing was essential in fulfilling those tasks, she said, noting that UNAMID currently had 267 female police officers, representing 19 per cent of the mission’s police component. Female officers participated in all activities, including patrols, family and child protection, gender awareness and community-oriented policing, she said. They were also role models, inspiring Darfuri women and girls to advocate for and defend their own rights.
Georges-Pierre Monchotte, Police Commissioner of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), highlighted the challenges of helping the Haitian National Police reduce kidnapping and murder, gather intelligence, combat organized crime and control firearms. The force helped in terms of setting institutional policies, executing budgets and strategic planning. Emphasizing the essential importance of promoting justice and corrections reform in parallel with police reform so as to ensure access to justice and inclusivity, he said it was critical for Haiti’s long-term stability that building national police capacity remained a priority for the international community.
Delegates noted that the environments in which United Nations police worked had become more complex, and that each was unique to every particular mission. Police-contributing countries should provide pre-deployment training, including on human rights and in addressing sexual abuse and violence, he said. In particular, police should be able to speak local languages in order to build relationships with local communities. Spain’s representative said police components played an important role in building confidence among local populations through close contact, and locals should view them more as guarantors of their rights than as enforcers of law and order.
Echoed by other speakers, Ukraine’s representative said peacekeeping operations should be provided with resilient executive mandates in order to ensure security and public order, including the prevention of illegal cross-border inflows of weapons and mercenaries. Police components of peacekeeping missions should be provided with sophisticated technologies and clear mandates to improve the protection of civilians and manage counter-terrorism activities, he said.
Speakers also emphasized the importance of police components helping host countries build national police, judicial and corrections capacity. New Zealand’s representative stressed the need to recruit suitably qualified personnel who could help to build up the core functions of the host State’s police force. Others speakers underlined the importance of gender sensitivity in community policing, urging the Department of Peacekeeping Operations as well as police-contributing countries to provide more female officers.
The Russian Federation’s representative said the gathering of intelligence should be carried out with the full agreement of the host country. Police components must comply strictly with Council mandates and the basic peacekeeping principles of impartiality, non-interference and non-use of force, and should not take on political functions, such as monitoring human rights, he added.
However, the representative of the United States noted that the Police Commissioner of MINUSMA, the world’s deadliest mission, had appealed for support for intelligence-based policing, and expressed hope that the Council would heed his appeal.
Also speaking today were representatives of Malaysia, France, Venezuela, United Kingdom, Angola, Uruguay, China, Egypt, Japan and Senegal.
The meeting began at 10:55 a.m. and ended at 1:55 p.m.
HERVÉ LADSOUS, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, said he would focus on four aspects facing police components on the ground: protection of civilians; integration of a gender perspective; building police capacity; and security of staff and disciplinary measures.
The challenge of protecting civilians was huge, as seen in South Sudan, where internally displaced people in camps owed their lives to police and to the United Nations, but also a huge problem in terms of managing the sites. It was necessary to assess how the environment could be improved and what tools would be needed in that regard, he said. How to dove-tail military and police activities was also something to be examined, he added.
Addressing gender, he said that since women and children were the most vulnerable in conflict situations, there should be enough women in police components. There was still 20 per cent staffing of women to be achieved, he noted. Building capacity was clearly essential to supporting political processes in host States, he said, noting that the recommendations of a recent evaluation by the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) pointed to better ways to align police with available resources. That was necessary in Haiti, which needed assistance for its police.
The Security of peacekeeping personnel was the greatest problem in Mali, he said, emphasizing that the human toll on MINUSMA was “way too high” due to a blend of criminal organizations, terrorist groups and corrupt politicians. The welfare of police officers on the ground should also be taken into account, he said, cautioning that disparities in the treatment of different categories of staff had an impact on moral and performance.
He went on to underline the need to review the approach to mission sustenance and hardship allowances. As for conduct and discipline, he said police components had been making efforts to implement the resolution on sexual conduct. They had a particular role to play in preventing sexual abuse and exploitation and in providing assistance to victims. He asked for the Council’s support for implementation of the recommendations contained in the Secretary-General’s upcoming second report on United Nations Police.
BRUCE MUNYAMBO, Police Commissioner, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), said that despite initial progress towards implementation of the peace agreement, the July 2016 outbreak of fighting between the SPLA and the SPLA-In Opposition had been a major setback. UNMISS had faced some “very significant” challenges in protecting civilians and engaging communities throughout the year.
He went on to say that the Mission had received several reports of serious human rights violations and abuses perpetrated by armed men in uniform, adding in that regard that UNPOL was on the front line of efforts to protect civilians. Its operations included maintaining order as well as a protective environment in protection-of-civilian sites in Juba, Bentiu, Malakal, Bor and Wau. Those operations had created a need for holding facilities in Malakal, Bentiu and Juba, which had placed unique challenges on the UNMISS because some detainees had been subjected to detention for as long as two years, he explained.
Describing community engagement as a key factor underpinning all UNPOL activities, he said UNPOL had conducted joint patrols with UNMISS outside the protection-of-civilian sites in order to extend protection through a proactive presence. That step had facilitated greater interaction with communities and a positive effect in terms of building trust and gathering information that enhanced policing. Despite its best efforts to engage communities within and outside the protection-of-civilian sites, however, the security context was placing significant demands on UNPOL, he said.
He went on to say in that regard that he was focusing on increasing the number of police officers to the mandated ceiling while working with the Secretariat and Member States to attract individuals with the right skill sets. Another priority for UNMISS during 2016 had been improving UNPOL’s ability to address potential future crises, he said, recalling that the Mission had experienced several major incidents that had placed unprecedented demands upon UNPOL. One lesson derived from those experiences was the importance of ensuring that all police officers not only had the relevant skill set, but also the right mind set to respond quickly and appropriately to crisis situations. That required leadership, regular scenario-based training with other missions and accountability, he emphasized.
PRISCILLA MAKOTOSE, Police Commissioner, African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), said the mission’s police prioritized supporting civilians and creating a protective environment through community-oriented policing. As illustrated in the Secretary-General’s special report, gender-sensitive policing was essential in fulfilling those tasks, she said, noting that UNAMID currently had 267 female police officers – the highest number among peacekeeping missions – which represented 19 per cent of UNAMID police. Women held 17 key positions, with four at a professional or higher level, and 13 female officers holding command and supervisory positions at Headquarters.
That representation was important not only for gender balancing, but also for the effective implementation of mandated tasks, she emphasized. Female officers participated in all activities, including patrols, family and child protection, gender awareness and community-oriented policing, she continued. They also served as role models, inspiring Darfuri women and girls to advocate for and defend their own rights. In particular, female officers provided greater and wider access to vulnerable groups, which was critical for gathering information as well as for analysing and enhancing early-warning capabilities. In collaboration with the military, UNAMID police conducted targeted patrols focusing on areas where violations against women and children occurred most frequently, she reported.
Noting that there were approximately 14,000 Sudanese police in Darfur, of whom 4 per cent were women, she emphasized that gender balance was critical to building confidence within communities and encouraging victims to report abuses to national police officers. Through outreach initiatives, UNAMID police had encouraged Darfuri women, including those who were internally displaced, to enlist in the national police service. As part of interactions with the senior leadership of the Sudanese police, UNAMID police had focused on increasing the number of female officers and transforming the Sudan police into an increasingly representative service. Mission police had also strengthened community-oriented policing practices, she said, pointing out that they had recruited and trained 3,529 community policing volunteers, of whom 29 per cent were women.
She went on to state that, as a part of its effort to make the United Nations Police Gender Toolkit operational, UNAMID had developed guidelines and frameworks for selecting and qualifying such volunteers. Concerning the issue of sexual abuse and exploitation, she stressed that UNAMID police adhered fully to the Secretary-General’s zero-tolerance policy. Police commanders and team leaders had been trained to comply strictly with that directive, and a communications strategy under development would ensure that information materials were available at all team sites, she said. UNAMID police had participated actively in a mission task force and had contributed to improved reporting and swift investigations. In addition, it had recorded no substantial case of sexual abuse and exploitation, she noted, underlining her own commitment to that ongoing effort, as the only female police commissioner in United Nations peacekeeping.
GEORGES-PIERRE MONCHOTTE, Police Commissioner, United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), recalled the Mission’s creation in 2004, when the Haitian National Police had been only nine years old and armed gangs had competed for control over Port-au-Prince. Changing political and security circumstances and capacity-building requirements had resulted in a progressive reversal of the Mission’s military-police ratio, with the police component currently at an authorized strength of 2,601 personnel and the military component numbering 2,370 troops. The police component had carefully tailored its assistance in key areas such as professionalizing the Haitian National Police and strengthening its operational capacity, he said.
In June, the Haitian National Police had initiated the development of a strategic plan for 2017-2021, which set out long-term institution-building goals. The co-location of MINUSTAH police officers and close coordination with national and international partners had resulted in an increase in the police-to-population ratio, strengthened human resource management and improved prevention of crime. The Haitian National Police currently had an overall strength of about 13,100 officers, of whom 9 per cent were women, he said. Its recruitment and training system had been strengthened, including through implementation of a seven-month curriculum developed in 2009, which was in accordance with international policing and human rights standards.
The Haitian National Police had increasingly been able to tackle kidnapping and reduce the number of homicides by dismantling existing or emerging criminal groups, he continued. However, the adoption of a National Crime Prevention Strategy to ensure sustainability was still pending adoption. Highlighting challenges in other areas – such as capacity to maintain and repair assets, police intelligence and organized crime, firearms control, institutional policies, budget execution and strategic planning – he emphasized the essential importance of promoting justice and corrections reform in parallel with police reform in order to ensure access to justice and inclusivity. It was critical for Haiti’s long-term stability that building national police capacity remained a priority for the international community, he stressed, saying that efforts to that end should follow a comprehensive rule-of-law strategy and lessons reflected in the Strategic Guidance Framework for International Police Peacekeeping.
ISSOUFOU YACOUBA, Police Commissioner, United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), said the crisis in that country was complex and implementation of the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement faced challenges. Alliances involving signatory and non-signatory groups, terrorists and criminals had resulted in attacks against Mali’s armed forces as well as on MINUSMA. Uprisings in the north had led to organized crime, he said, adding that the situation there was exacerbated by the crisis in Libya. Terrorist attacks were spreading to the centre and even the south of Mali, where at least eight terrorist groups were currently active, he said.
The figures were clear, he continued, noting that 1,013 attacks against MINUSMA, non-governmental groups, Mali security forces and civilians had been recorded between January 2014 and 10 October 2016. Noting that Council resolution 2295 (2016) addressed the need to establish or reform defence and security institutions, he said that European Union support in that endeavour would be decisive. The Government was drawing up a national strategy for preventing violent extremism and terrorism, and had also created a national study centre on that topic. MINUSMA had taken preventive measures, creating a group to combat international organized crime and a task force on terrorism spanning all United Nations entities, in addition to training a team to deal with improvised explosive devices.
He went on to say that MINUSMA police had also established an intelligence gathering and analysis group, and assisted in the training of the Mali security forces, he continued. However, implementation of resolution 2295 (2016) had been fraught with challenges, particularly security-sector reform, he said. While the idea of a territorial police force was too controversial, a neighbourhood force should improve trust among the people, he said, emphasizing that participating police officers should be able to speak French. Noting that formed police units provided important protection to civilians, personnel and United Nations entities, he said the number of MINUSMA’s armed vehicles had increased from six to 10. MINUSMA police supported reform of the Mali security forces, but threats and logistical constraints were a matter of major concern.
SITI HAJJAR ADNIN (Malaysia) said peacekeeping missions were undertaking significantly more tasks, from extending humanitarian aid to reintegrating former combatants. While welcoming the Secretariat’s initial steps to implement the recommendations of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, she said there was room for improvement at the mandate-design and planning stages. Noting that the protection of civilians had come to be a core component of peacekeeping operations, especially in South Sudan, Sudan and Mali, she described it as a cross-cutting issue. She also stressed the crucial importance of agreeing on benchmarks, process and procedures, while also ensuring greater female leadership. She asked for additional information on the readiness of the Haitian National Police to assume greater responsibility, and on UNPOL’s role in supporting the UNMISS civilian-protection mandate.
ALEXIS LAMEK (France), emphasizing the vital need to prioritize UNPOL’s ability to guarantee better protection of civilians, said training was a precondition for the long-term improvement of police capacity. It was also important to support UNPOL in building the capacity of host-country police by sharing good practices and supporting the establishment of “a full criminal chain” including police, judicial and penitentiary systems. Police officers must be accountable to the communities they served, he said, adding that their cooperation with them could take the form of mentoring or joint patrolling. In particular, police should be able to speak local languages, he said, adding that France would take part in training efforts focused on the French language. Noting that some actions undertaken by peacekeeping missions involved daily contact with locals, he asked the briefers to provide information on language-related challenges.
RAFAEL DARÍO RAMÍREZ CARREÑO (Venezuela), emphasizing that host States must take ownership of their own peace processes, said that developing a responsible national police apparatus was the key to sustaining peace in societies riven by conflict. Reform of police institutions was a complex undertaking going beyond training to include the development of political institutions and building operational capacity. The recruitment of police officers by the United Nations must be based on the mandate, he said, adding that missions with stabilization and protection mandates must recruit many police officers while those intended to reform police institutions must have fewer numbers. However, it would seem that current recruitment models were based on the concept of huge contingents, which resulted in host States not receiving the requisite advice. Furthermore, gender equality should be one of the key components of recruitment, he said, emphasizing that given their fundamental role in society, women were essential in protecting women and children from abuse.
SAMANTHA POWER (United States) said every mission was unique and needed a specific solution. Commissioner Yacouba, operating in Mali, the deadliest Mission in the world, had appealed for support for intelligence-based policing, she said, expressing hope that the Council would heed that appeal. The Council expected United Nations police not only to maintain law and order, but also to restore the rule of law. There was also the matter of supply and demand, she said, noting that it was hard to find police officers with the right training. The test for United Nations police focused on linguistics as well as driving and firearm competency. The Department of Peacekeeping Operations should focus on what each mission needed and tailor demands to specific situations, she said, emphasizing that council members should be more strategic on how to deploy police. Police could step in after peacekeepers restored basic security and then deploy to establish law and order.
FRANCISCO JAVIER GASSO MATOSES (Spain) underlined the importance of police components in building confidence among the local population through close contact. The population should view the police more as guarantors of their rights than as enforcers of law and order. Noting that MINUSMA operated in an asymmetrical environment, he asked how community policing could be combined with the need to maintain security. Police-contributing countries should be committed to providing uniformed forces who had undergone pre-deployment training in, among other areas, human rights and sexual abuse and violence. Underlining the crucial role of police in implementing the women, peace and security agenda, he said more must be done to achieve the 20 per cent recruitment target for having female police officers deployed in peacekeeping missions.
MATTHEW RYCROFT (United Kingdom) said that although United Nations policing was on the front line of a peacekeeping mission’s work, it concentrated disproportionately on day-to-day policing rather than on building capacity. How could that be changed and how could working methods be re-organized?
JULIO HELDER MOURA LUCAS (Angola) said police components of peacekeeping and special political missions, as the first line of contact with local populations, played a crucial protective role while also helping to build confidence. Referring to Security Council resolution 2185 (2014) on strengthening their role in conflict and post-conflict situations, he emphasized the importance of the protection of civilians and gender-sensitive policing. Requesting that the briefers assess that resolution’s impact on the discharge of their mandates, he said the complex context to which police components were exposed called for clear and credible mandates, stressing further that police-contributing countries must pay greater attention to the training of their personnel.
CRISTINA CARRIÓN (Uruguay) recalling the summit of police chiefs held at United Nations Headquarters in June, said it had provided an opportunity for them as well as interior ministers and other officials to discuss important peacekeeping issues. As a longstanding police-contributing country, Uruguay had been supporting peacekeeping since 1991, when it had first contributed to operations in Guatemala, she recalled, while emphasizing the importance of training, especially in relation to the protection of civilians. The training provided by Uruguay’s national peacekeeping training school had a special focus on the zero-tolerance policy on sexual abuse and exploitation, she added. Recognizing the positive results achieved by MINUSTAH, she asked whether the progress made in training the Haitian National Police could serve as the basis for a successful exit strategy for that Mission.
YURIY VITRENKO (Ukraine) said that while activity in volatile peacekeeping operations normally caught the international community’s attention, he could not omit the progress made by United Nations police in other missions, such as the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). However, pre-deployment and in‑mission training should be enhanced to ensure readiness for deployment, he emphasized. Peacekeeping operations should also be provided with resilient executive mandates to ensure security and public order, including the prevention of illegal cross-border inflows of weapons and mercenaries. He went on to stress the importance of police-contributing countries registering and managing all police unit commitments through the Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System, and of enhanced triangular cooperation among those countries, the Secretariat and the Security Council. To that end, more frequent police-related briefings by the Secretariat could help to improve the sharing of information, he said. Furthermore, police components of peacekeeping missions should be provided with sophisticated technologies and clear mandates to improve the protection of civilians and manage counter-terrorism activities.
WU HAIRAO (China) said it was time the international community considered the changing circumstancing facing police components. The principles of peacekeeping – impartiality, non-interference and non-use of force – were the cornerstone of peacekeeping and provided a safeguard for police work. When circumstances changed and a host country demanded that police components leave, a clear timetable should be drawn up for such an exit, he said, emphasizing that police mandates should be unambiguous and focused, and consider the priorities of the host country. The Secretariat should examine the context within which police components worked by looking at the long-term picture and paying attention to making police more resilient, including by strengthening emergency and early-warning capacities, and ensuring the sharing of internal information. Communications between the Council on the one hand, and troop- and police-contributing countries on the other should be strengthened, with a greater voice for contributing countries, he said.
PETR V. ILIICHEV (Russian Federation) said United Nations police components provided assistance in the protection of civilians and played a role in reforming institutions of law. The provision of such assistance meant that police complied with Council mandates and basic peacekeeping principles. The difficult context of asymmetrical threats called for implementing person-centred approaches in engaging with local populations, he said, adding that police components should not take on political functions, such as monitoring human rights. Emphasizing that intelligence should be carried out solely through legal means and with the full agreement of the host country, he said one of the key tasks of the United Nations was to help the host country establish law-and-order institutions, without which there would be no sustainable exit strategy for peacekeeping missions. Stressing the importance of appropriately equipping and training police components, he said the Council’s Working Group on Peacekeeping and the General Assembly’s Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations were the appropriate organs for assessing United Nations police. An external review was not necessary, he added.
SEIF ALLA YOUSSEF KANDEEL (Egypt) said police components constituted the primary nexus between the United Nations and civilians, playing an important role in enhancing community trust in United Nations peacekeeping missions. He emphasized the importance of the recommendations by the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations regarding police. Noting that Police Commissioner Munyambo operated in an unfriendly environment with multiple security challenges, he asked what capacity-building plan he had for the national police in South Sudan, and how much progress had been made. As for the MINUSMA pilot programme to develop intelligence units, he asked how much such units would contribute to risk assessments, and if there was coordination between the host Government and police units.
KORO BESSHO (Japan) said UNAMID represented a particularly good example of the successful deployment of police experts, highlighting that mission’s efforts in project management, training, human resources and finance. Noting that MINUSTAH could potentially be successful, he noted that it supported the Haitian National Police in the rule-of-law area and had made progress on security-sector reform, community policing and the development of a strategic plan. He requested the briefers to share their successes and the lessons they had learned from addressing challenges to building police capacity on the ground.
NICHOLAS WALBRIDGE (New Zealand), highlighting the importance of capacity-building, emphasized the need to recruit suitably qualified police personnel who could help to build up the core functions of the home-country’s police force. It was also essential to recruit more qualified female personnel. Noting the release of the executive summary of the Independent Special Investigation into the violence in Juba, South Sudan, earlier in 2016, he highlighted a number of shortcomings within UNMISS, emphasizing that it was not enough merely to have plans in place; it was also necessary that such plans were understood, rehearsed and reviewed. Acknowledging the complexity of civilian-protection mandates, he asked the briefers how the Council could help them further in realizing their mandates. What measures had UNMISS put in place in the wake of the Independent Special Investigation’s findings?
MAMADOU FODÉ SECK (Senegal) said his country was a top contributor of police and sought the Council’s input in order to promote an interactive debate. Senegal had a lot to gain from such a debate by sharing its experiences in improving the activities of police components in peacekeeping operations. The 65 recommendations on police unit activities presented by Under-Secretary-General Ladsous, as well as the strategic guidance document, had steered operations in the right direction. However, there was still room for improvements on such issues as late deployments, lack of qualified staff, and adequate training, he said. Furthermore, peacekeeping mandates had been rigid amid the absence of a reliable and effective intelligence system. Misconduct by United Nations staff had also damaged the Organization’s image, he said, while also emphasizing the need for more female police officers.
He continued by pointing out the issue of language barriers in various theatres of operation, and the fact that peacekeeping missions increasingly operated in more difficult situations requiring high performance and qualified staff. The lack of equipment and qualified senior staff was therefore a serious matter, he emphasized. What had been the effect of those factors on the various missions? Noting that the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) had been compelled to perform a combination of humanitarian relief work with the landfall of Hurricane Matthew, while also ensuring safety and security, he asked how police components had been able to combine both of those tasks. He also asked how physical protection for women in Darfur could be improved.
Ms. MAKATOSE, Police Commissioner for UNAMID, said she was pursuing measures to protect women in their daily lives, whether thy involved farming, collecting firewood or grass. It had been important to introduce patrols in areas where women were active, he said, adding that the decision to deploy must be made in consultation with women associations in affected areas.
On the effects of language and culture, she said deployed missions were doing their best to learn local languages and to teach local communities English.
Turning to the issue of training, she underlined the need for diverse police units, warning that women who had been victimized could be intimidated by males carrying weapons. In that regard, UNAMID had sought the guidance of women’s networking associations in order to tailor their outreach to local communities.
Mr. MUNIAMBO said UNMISS had played an important role during the crisis in Juba, carrying out crowd control and deploying robust patrols. The Mission had protected various categories of people, ranging from civilians running from bullets, to internally displaced persons and non-citizens such as Eritreans and Ethiopians. As for capacity building, he said that while the Mission did not have such a mandate, it had helped to develop a training curriculum and provided an instructor for the joint integrated police.
Mr. MONCHOTTE, responding to a number of questions, said that although there had been undeniable progress in Haiti’s policing, it was necessary to support further building of capacity in judicial training, forensics and crime scene investigations. Noting that a successful recent operation in one of Haiti’s national prisons would not have been possible without intelligence gathered by the Haitian National Police, he said MINUSTAH’s withdrawal strategy would be based on an in-depth assessment, in the context of development plans.
Turning to successes and lessons learned, he said MINUSTAH forces were no longer deployed on the front lines, and the national police had taken ownership of drafting the strategic plan. Regarding the situation in the south of the country, he said MINUSTAH had immediately and decisively contacted the director general of police and redeployed contingents. On language difficulties, he stressed the need for efforts in that regard by troop- and police-contributing countries, and said UNMISS was also benefiting from coordination with francophone organizations.
Mr. YACOUBA, Police Commissioner for MINUSMA, responded to a question from the representative of France about language issues said that, with the help of neighbouring countries, the Mission had identified officers who spoke local languages and deployed them to northern Mali.
On the issue of recruitment, raised by Venezuela’s representative, he said MINUSMA had already identified specific qualification requirements for officers, and had interviewed and recruited staff deemed fit for the Mission.
With regard to Spain’s question on community policing, he said security should not be imposed, but rather, the community itself must tell the Mission the type of help it needed. That was important in building trust between different stakeholders, he emphasized.
In response to the Russian Federation’s question on intelligence terminology, he said the information discussed had indeed been of criminal origin. There was no better word in French than “criminal information” to express that type of intelligence gathering. “When we see that a population is under threat, we need to understand the dangers they face,” he said, stressing that intelligence from criminal sources was crucial.
Responding to Egypt’s question on development of intelligence units, he emphasized the importance of sharing activities carried out in specific areas with all stakeholders and decision-makers, pointing out that such types of intelligence-sharing provided opportunities for having exchanges with all police components concerned.
Mr. LADSOUS, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, emphasized that police activities in peacekeeping operations could not adhere to a specific global model because they all faced different constraints. It was also important to understand each domestic context, he said, noting that every country and mission displayed the fact that there was no “silver bullet”, and that every situation must be handled separately.
Concerning the linguistic aspect, he said communicating in local languages was a fundamental element, and he had used every opportunity to highlight that issue to stakeholders.
On intelligence policy and terminology, he said Mali was an interesting case. “We cannot act effectively if we are blind or deaf,” he said, underlining the importance of working in a positive relationship with the host country. Specific technological tools, such as surveillance drones and observation balloons, also played a crucial role. The international community knew well that there was a challenging balance in each country between domestic security needs and contributions on a global level. Doubling the number of contributing police forces had demonstrated that there was a greater awareness of their important work, he added.