Statement by Ambassador Wittig at Meeting of "Friends of UN Police" with Heads of Police Components
(as prepared for delivery:)
"Dear Under Secretary-General Ladsous,
Dear Assistant Secretary-General Titov,
Police Adviser Stefan Feller,
Welcome to the German House!
Today I’m delighted to host this second meeting of the Group of Friends of UN Police with more than 40 representatives from 20 member states.
We are joined by key representatives from the Secretariat in charge of Peacekeeping, Rule of Law and Security Matters of the UN.
Let me also acknowledge the presence of Director General Hammerl, who is the head of the Federal Police Department in the German Ministry of the Interior.
I would like to extend a particularly warm welcome to the „Heads of Police Components“ of all the UN Missions. We are certainly looking forward to a lively exchange with you. As representatives of the 13,000 UN police officers, we thank you for your difficult and demanding service.
I am sending my warmest regards to your colleagues in MINUSMA, UNMIK and UNOCI who unfortunately can’t be here today.
The military is at the forefront of many aspects of peacekeeping. At the same time, we notice the rapid growth and steadily increasing impact and importance of civilian peacekeeping.
Not only have police, corrections and justice, under the umbrella of the “Rule of Law”, become very important pillars and instruments of Peacekeeping. They have also become key factors for transition and exit strategies in Peacekeeping missions.
Germany has deployed more than 8,500 police officers to UN, EU and bilateral missions and has implemented a multitude of capacity building. Based on our own experience, we see great potential for police peacekeeping.
The Police Conference in Berlin last October, with more than 80 nations participating, was an important step and an encouraging signal, and we would like to promote an even more pro-active approach here in New York.
This is why we have established the Group of Friends of UN Police. Our goal is to foster an ongoing dialogue between the Secretariat, the Permanent Missions and our capitals.
Our main objectives are:
- to raise awareness of the role of UN Police,
- to provide political support to the Secretariat
- to advise and support DPKO in the further strategic and operative development of the Police Division,
- to increase the police contributions that Member States provide to respond to urgent needs in peacekeeping missions,
- and to support DPKO in coordinating Member States’ donor activity and engagement.
In our constitutive meeting in May, we discussed many possible courses of action for the strengthening and support of the UN Police. There was particularly great interest in the strategic perspectives for the UN Police. The more complex and dynamic the challenges and developments of the UN Police are, the greater is the demand for a UN Police strategy.
We are aware that there has been close cooperation between the police division and the police components in the Missions in developing a multi-annual strategy. As friends of the UN Police, we are curious to find out which challenges the UN Police will be confronted with and which operative requirements have been identified.
At the beginning of such an important week for the UN Police, I am glad that we, as the Group of Friends, now have the opportunity to learn more from Hervé and then Stefan Feller about the current strategic perspectives.
Under Secretary-General, the floor is yours."