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UN, Interpol design 'global policing doctrine'

Mon, 12 Oct 2009 14:04:04 GMT

The United Nations and Interpol, the global police organization, are poised to become partners in fighting crime by jointly creating an international police force.

Interpol, which is financed by 187 member nations, says the "global police doctrine" would allow the deployment of peacekeepers among rogue nations plagued by war and organized crime.

"We have a visionary model," said Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble, who described the joint partnership "an alliance of all nations."

He suggested that by relying on Interpol's resources, the United Nations would be able to handle international conflicts and transnational crime far better.

"If UN peacekeepers assigned to post-conflict zones or fragile states are asked to perform police-like functions and to combat transnational crime, then more peacekeepers should come from the ranks of police and be given access to Interpol's global databases," said Noble.

Modern peacekeeping efforts have evolved significantly since the blue-helmeted UN military force was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988. Since 2005, the number of police forces involved in UN peacekeeping operations has more than doubled from about 6,000 to 12,200 in 17 countries.

However, Interpol officials plan to steer the organization into providing "advice and consulting services" in the area of policing during peacekeeping operations, AFP reported.

"Interpol is not going to send troops out into the field here and there throughout the world," said Interpol director of legal affairs Joel Sollier. "What Interpol is going to do is provide technical assistance, technical support."

On Sunday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a video message told a gathering of justice and foreign ministers from more than 60 countries in Singapore that the UN welcomes the initiative.

"They forge trust in uniformed men and women. They generate confidence that peace can succeed,” he said, describing the UN Police (UNPOL).

INTERPOL issues its first ever passports

Two countries, Pakistan and Ukraine, have already agreed to waive visa entry requirements for INTERPOL passport bearers, recognizing that those individuals will be travelling on behalf of the organization in the furtherance of international police co-operation.

Without the delay of visa processing procedures, any INTERPOL team can be immediately deployed to scenes of terrorist events, major crimes or natural disasters and officials from NCBs can easily cross borders to assist in fugitive extraditions.

The first member of the Executive Committee to receive the new passport, INTERPOL President Khoo Boon Hui, said that the document would significantly support the organization’s work.

“As the world’s largest police organization, INTERPOL needs to remain at the forefront of all activity which enhances member country security and safety,” said President Khoo.

“The INTERPOL passport contains state-of-the-art features that will not only facilitate the carrying out of important INTERPOL business worldwide, but will also serve as an example for the standards which should be implemented worldwide for travel document security.”

Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said that as more countries waived their visa requirements for INTERPOL passport holders, the more effective the organization’s support would become and he urged all member countries to seek the necessary governmental recognition and approval.

“When member countries ask INTERPOL for assistance to prevent, investigate, or respond to any terrorist act, serious crime or natural disaster, the safety and security of their citizens may depend on INTERPOL being in place as fast as possible,” said Secretary General Noble.

“That a person is travelling with an INTERPOL passport for official business should be all the information a country needs in order to grant them access. By agreeing to waive visas for INTERPOL passport holders, member countries will ultimately be assisting themselves,” added Mr Noble.

The presentation of the INTERPOL passport, which has been designed and developed by the EDAPS Consortium, comes during the organization’s General Assembly in Singapore attended by more than 800 senior law enforcement officials from 153 countries.

Key issues to be discussed during the five-day meeting are the provision of enhanced operational support, particularly in relation to the expansion and increased use of INTERPOL’s DNA and fingerprint databases by frontline officers in member countries to help solve crimes and identify fugitives through data comparison; encouraging member countries to use tools to block access to online child abuse images; and establishing an information exchange platform for national anti-corruption bodies and the creation of a strategic anti-corruption information database.

The global reach of the world’s largest police organization was further extended following the acceptance of Samoa as INTERPOL’s newest member country, bringing the total number to 188 countries.

INTERPOL's new secure e-passport initiative

Posted on 23 September 2009.

INTERPOL's Secretary General Ronald K. Noble announced that the EDAPS Consortium had been chosen to design and produce the world's largest police organization's first-ever e-passport. The e-passport for the Heads of INTERPOL's 187 National Central Bureaus (NCBs), Executive Committee members and staff from its General Secretariat headquarters will set new standards in document security.

The INTERPOL chief said that the provision of a secure, globally recognised INTERPOL e-passport to the Heads of NCBs is aimed at ensuring that they can travel freely internationally in order to assist in the apprehension or transfer of fugitives.

"The introduction of the INTERPOL e-passport marks a significant step forward not only in enabling law enforcement officers to carry out their duties, but also in setting global standards for secure travel documents, especially as the use of fraudulent passports by terrorists poses the number one threat to the safety and security of citizens everywhere," said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

The INTERPOL e-passport will incorporate security features such as laser engraving, an electronic chip, and holographic, micrographic and optical security elements.

The international suppliers supporting the INTERPOL e-passport development by EDAPS are:

Petrel Industries -- France
Bayer -- Germany
Leonhard Kurz Stiftung & Co. KG -- Germany
Softpro GmbH -- Germany
Wacom Europe GmbH -- Germany
Centro grafico DG -- Italy
Adaptive Recognition Inc. -- Hungary
Canon Inc. -- Japan
Neurotechnology -- Lithuania
NXP Semiconductors -- The Netherlands
IAI industrial systems BV -- The Netherlands
SONDA -- Russia; Speed Identity -- Sweden
SICPA Holding SA -- Switzerland
KBA-GIORI S.A. -- Switzerland
Luminesence -- United Kingdom
Printing plant "UKRAINE" -- Ukraine
Malin Banknote Paper Factory -- Ukraine
Artec Group Inc. -- USA

Landmark INTERPOL-United Nations ministerial meeting sets course for boosting police's vital role in peacekeeping

Ministers from more than 60 countries attended the meeting, convened by INTERPOL and the United Nations to secure support from the international community for the role played by police peacekeepers in preserving peace worldwide.

SINGAPORE – An INTERPOL partnership with the United Nations has seen more than 60 ministers from around the world back a plan to bring the enhanced role of police in peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations to the forefront of the international security agenda.

Meeting under the auspices of INTERPOL’s 78th General Assembly, foreign, justice and home affairs ministers joined senior police officials from 153 countries in endorsing a declaration that will see INTERPOL, the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and participating governments establish a plan of action to promote international police peacekeeping as an essential counterpart to the military in helping re-establish the rule of law and rebuild society.

Addressing the ministers and senior police officials, the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, said that police officers were taking on growing responsibilities in international peacekeeping.

“In our globalised world, disorder or worse breakdown of political authority in one country threatens regional and international security. When we commit police peacekeepers to rebuild failed states, promote good governance and foster sustainable peace, we are also contributing to our own security,” said the Prime Minister.

INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble emphasized how in conflict areas security concerns quickly moved from being war-related to organized crime-related. He described the partnership with UN as ‘an alliance of all nations’ that would commit INTERPOL to deliver international police expertise and frontline access to its global resources in countries suffering or recovering from conflicts, to help them build peace and combat transnational crime.

“If UN peacekeepers assigned to post conflict zones or fragile states are asked to perform police-like functions and to combat transnational crime, then more peacekeepers should come from the ranks of police and be given access to INTERPOL’s global databases,” said Secretary General Noble.

“INTERPOL can provide deployed UN police peacekeepers with access to the world’s only secure global police communications system; global 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. These make INTERPOL an essential partner for police peacekeepers.

“Terrorists and organized criminals take advantage of the absence of law and exploit countries with weak institutions as safe havens for their criminal activities, promoting radicalizing individuals, feeding corruption, engendering further instability, and threatening well beyond that country’s borders,” added the head of INTERPOL.

The UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Alain Le Roy, said that the recognition of ‘a clear link between crime and conflict’ and the fact that serious and organized crime was prevalent in these zones underlined the need for greater co-operation with INTERPOL.

“Criminal elements are increasingly fuelling wars by providing belligerents with the resources to finance their expensive military activities. They undermine the rule of law and threaten human security. Past conflicts have clearly shown that conflicts that are not fed by criminal profits tend to end sooner,” said Mr Le Roy.

The Declaration endorsed today at the ministerial gathering will include the drafting of an Action Plan in the coming 12 months, as part of a process that will lead to the world’s first heads of state and government summit on the role of international policing in peacekeeping.

INTERPOL co-ordinates landmark hazardous waste operation in North America

LYON, France – The first-ever international environmental initiative co-ordinated by INTERPOL against the illegal transportation of hazardous waste has seen Canadian and US authorities carry out an operation that saw hundreds of vehicles checked along their border.

Targeting vehicles capable of transporting waste of all forms – including industrial chemical waste, the two-day operation (23-24 September) focused on major transportation routes in the Ontario area. With unscrupulous companies and individuals often seeking to cheaply dispose of hazardous waste illegally, at times via criminal gangs, the operation saw 350 vehicles checked, 140 violations identified and eight investigations launched so far.

Led by officers from the Canadian and US national environmental agencies (Environment Canada, US Environmental Protection Agency), state environmental agencies (Ontario Ministries of Environment and Transport, New York State Environmental Conservation Police), and customs authorities (Canada Border Services Agency), the operation also involved INTERPOL’s National Central Bureaus (NCBs) in Ottawa and Washington which provided secure police communication channels, access to a range of INTERPOL databases and analytical support­.

“Pollution and greed respect no boundaries and America is committed to working with its domestic and international law enforcement partners to combat the illegal transport of hazardous waste transnationally,” said Fred Burnside, Director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Criminal Enforcement. “This initiative should send a strong message of deterrence to would-be violators that the environmental cops are on the beat.”

INTERPOL Environmental Crime Programme manager David Higgins said that INTERPOL’s ability to facilitate multi-country and multi-agency law enforcement communication and co-operation was vital in promoting internationally co-ordinated operations against environmental crime.

“The trans-border movement of hazardous waste represents an especially harmful example of environmental crime which ignores borders. It requires an international law enforcement response which INTERPOL is uniquely able to co-ordinate by assisting each of its member countries communicate critical information to one another via its National Central Bureaus,” said Mr Higgins.

Describing the illegal transportation of hazardous waste as ‘a growing global concern’, Environment Canada’s Chief Enforcement Officer, Albin Tremblay said: “It is therefore all the more important that enforcement agencies work collaboratively to fight this issue. This operation proves that this type of partnership is a successful approach for dealing with this type of environmental crime."

INTERPOL’s Environmental Crime Programme was launched in 1992 and has grown significantly since, expanding areas of co-operation with many national, international and non-governmental agencies across its 187 member countries. The results of this operation will be reviewed alongside other environmental issues at the forthcoming INTERPOL Pollution Crime Working Group meeting at INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon (7-9 October).


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