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Calling for more female police, UN officer welcomes new pact with INTERPOL

20 October 2009 – A senior United Nations official today welcomed a recent landmark agreement with the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) to strengthen police units in peacekeeping missions around the world, and called on Member States to contribute more women officers to those operations.

The new agreement between the UN and INTERPOL aims to boost policing cooperation in restoring stability in post-conflict areas, UN Deputy Police Adviser Ann-Marie Orler told reporters in New York.

The arrangement, agreed last week in Singapore, includes the exchange of information, cooperation in relation to interim law enforcement, security support to national police and training for the development of national police and other law enforcement agencies.

“Our efforts to become more effective and highly professional through the development of strategic framework for international police peacekeeping depend on the commitment of Member States to provide well-qualified men and women who can contribute to fulfilling our core police functions and to train them in accordance to UN standards and values,” said Ms. Orler.

“We have a real chance of making real improvements and we are counting on Member States to support us in these efforts,” she added.

In August, the Police Division of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) launched a drive to recruit more police and more female police officers, targeting an increase in the number of women from 8 per cent today to 20 per cent in 2014, said Ms. Orler.

“We encourage Member States to establish a policy that sets the percentage of their contribution of female police officers at a minimum of the same percentage of female officers they have in their national police,” she said, noting that Liberia has already set the target.

“The long-term goal is, of course, to have 50-50,” stressed Ms. Orler.

There are currently around 12,000 policemen and women, from over 100 countries, serving in 17 UN missions, compared to 2,400 a decade ago. The Security Council has authorized the deployment of a total of 15,000 UN police to peacekeeping operations.

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