Swedish statement at the UN Security Council Briefing on Peacekeeping Operations: Police Commissioners
National statement delivered by Ambassador Irina Schoulgin Nyoni on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on Peacekeeping Operations: Police Commissioners, 6 November 2018, New York.
Thank you, Mr. President,
And thank you Assistant Secretary-General Zouev and the Police Commissioners for your valuable briefings today, and thank you, Tuesday Reitano, for your important contribution and your perspectives on transnational organized crime.
It is very encouraging to see so many representatives of UN police here in the Chamber this afternoon. I would like to take this opportunity as some of my colleagues have already done, to thank you for the invaluable work that you do for all of us in your respective missions every day. You make a crucial contribution to conflict prevention and sustaining peace, which are at the very core of the UN’s work. Thank you again, we are very proud of your accomplishments.
Imagine our societies without policing. Cities, towns and villages without any objective authority to uphold the rule of law. The chaos that would reign under such circumstances is obvious. Accountable, transparent and effective policing is central to peaceful and stable societies. Strong institutions that are trusted by their citizens are crucial for responding effectively to violence and crime.
Where governance and institutions are weak on the other hand, organized crime is more likely to take hold. Transnational organized crime finances and fuels conflict, reinforces corruption and undermines institutions. This erodes confidence in society, and criminal groups can challenge the state’s ability to control its own territory.
The breakdown of law and order, violations of human rights, and the lack of rule of law are often at the heart of the problem in the countries where the UN is engaged, as illustrated today by our briefers from South Sudan, the Congo and Haiti. This is why Sweden has for decades been a consistent contributor to UN police.
Policing is an important function in all phases of conflict. From prevention to peacekeeping to peacebuilding and sustaining peace, there is always a need for structural capacity and institution building that contributes to stability and the rule of law.
Conflict prevention is supported through direct operational actions and through supporting international norms as well as mechanisms to combat transnational organised crime, illicit arms flows and human trafficking. The Council has in numerous resolutions included mandates or references to combatting criminal flows and networks.
And as we heard from the Police Commissioner from MINUJUSTH, to feel hope and confidence for the future, tangible investments in the Rule of Law is important for people in vulnerable situations. Building responsive and representative institutions is therefore key, and this is also why Sweden contributes both police and corrections personnel to UN missions. The Global Focal Point arrangement is one useful vehicle for making comprehensive contribution to both Rule of Law and other development work.
For the UN to be more effective in designing adequate responses to different situations we must further strengthen the role of police in our approach, as our briefers have also highlighted today. Protecting the human rights of civilians, addressing organised crime, combating sexual and gender based violence, fighting impunity, upholding law and order and building the rule of law cannot be accomplished without effective policing.
The centrality of policing to the UN’s response should be improved through joint analyses and by taking a broad view of security. The decision-making process must be informed by relevant policing expertise and we need adequate platforms for delivering policing advice.
To make full use of UN policing and for the Police Division to be able to provide strategic direction on police issues to this Council, the Secretariat and other elements of the United Nations system, the Police Division must be adequately placed in the structures and the UN Police Adviser must have the right level to ensure access to relevant decision-making discussions.
Sweden strongly supports the Secretary-General’s initiative Action for Peacekeeping and will continue to be involved in the work going forward. Ensuring adequate reflection of the different components of peace operations will be important.
Inclusive and responsive peace operations also require a gender-balance in the cadre of peacekeepers. More than one third of the police officers Sweden today contributes to UN peace operations are women. It is equally important to ensure participation of women in local outreach and projects, as also highlighted in the UNMISS briefing on gender-responsive policing. In addition, to ensure an effective policing response, it is important that all our officers are well-trained and held accountable for their conduct.
We look forward to the forthcoming Secretary-General’s report on policing and continuing the discussion on mainstreaming policing in the UN’s prevention activities and in the peace and security pillar.
Finally, Mr. President,
UN police will continue to carry the dual role of providing security and protection, as well as supporting the reform, restructuring and development of rule of law institutions. Protection of civilians is crucially important, and as this organization is set on moving from conflict response to conflict prevention, the capacity building role will be further highlighted.
It is high time that we act in support of increased police expertise in the UN’s decision-making processes. By making the best possible use of the different instruments that UN policing can provide, we will be one step closer to sustaining peace.
I thank you.