National Statement of Germany during the 2024 United Nations Chiefs of Police Summit (UNCOPS), 27 June 2024



27.06.2024 - Speech

The statement was delivered by Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community

Under-Secretary-General Khare,
Police Commissioner Shahkar,
Distinguished Chiefs of Police and Gendarmerie,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to start my statement by referring to some things that we heard earlier today. I want to thank USG Ryder for his opening remarks in which he highlighted the importance of the sustainable development goals which were adopted in 2015. Since then, these goals give significant guidance for all of our activities. This is not the time for re-discussing or re-defining all or some of the SDGs. In fact, it is the time to strengthen them including in UN peace operations.

For us, Germany, it is clear that mandates of peace operations must target the root causes of conflicts. Amongst those are: climate, human rights and gender issues. In fact, targeting those issues does not decrease efficiency of missions, but increases it.

It is indeed an honor for me to sit on this stage today, in order to provide remarks on behalf of Germany. For 35 years now, we are a police-contributing-country, a staunch supporter of the work of United Nations Police or UNPOL.

This session has the headline “strengthening peace operations and peace enforcement”. Whilst United Nations peace operations remain the most effective tool to secure peace, this indicates that we have to become even better at what we are doing in the field. Peace operations face ever more challenging environments, new threats and much more complex tasks.

The first German police officers deployed to the UN mission UNTAG in Namibia in 1989. They had the task to monitor the security of elections in close cooperation with the security forces of Namibia. In those times, blue helmets were mostly greeted by the population with smiling faces.

In 2024, police officers are deployed to missions where they are, for example, tasked to protect civilians and to provide support to host state police organizations through training and strategic advice.

They have undergone

· an assessment of language and policing skills,

· a minimum 10-day preparational training and

· additional trainings which shall prepare them for their challenging task.

They are equipped with vests and helmets, drive in armored vehicles, often are protected by either Formed Police or Military Units which are heavily armed and face a permanent threat of violence.

So, we know where we came from, we know where we are, but where do we go from here?

A lot of strategic initiatives and agendas are trying to give answers to that question: Action for Peacekeeping, A4P+ priorities, the New Agenda for Peace, just to name a few.

A big opportunity for Member States to shape the way forward arises in September this year. Together with our dear friends from Namibia, Germany is facilitating the Summit of the Future. A summit, where Heads of State will come together and agree on a pact for the future.

An entire chapter of this pact is dedicated to International Peace and Security. UN Peace Operations have a role to play in each of the action points in this chapter.

In order to meet those high expectations,

· to support host states to build peaceful and inclusive societies,

· to protect civilians,

· to make sure people in need receive the support they need,

· to build and sustain peace at the national level and

· to strengthen the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda;

in order to achieve all those things, we need better prepared police officers in peace operations.

We need police officers who know how to gather data, for example, from social media or other publicly available sources. We need officers who know how to structurally analyze data in order to identify threats either to the population or the mission.

We need officers, who know how to translate this information into structured countermeasures, either by the deployment of police or by developing a communication strategy.

We need officers who know how to operate cutting-edge technology in order to make all that happen.

But we also need officers who have the necessary skills to support the host state police to develop their own capacities in this regard. We need strategic advisers, mentors, trainers. The best investigator at home is not necessarily the best advisor or trainer for investigators abroad. Advising and teaching is a skill in itself.

Recognizing this, the Police Division started a project five years ago. It overhauled its entire training architecture, developed job-specific trainings and qualified around 200 trainers. This year, the first trainings for future IPOs were delivered.

Now we have to put this capability into further action, utilize those trainings to make our IPOs serving in missions better equipped to implement the mandate from day one on.

We understand that it might be challenging for many police-contributing countries to deliver those trainings on their own. Germany, and I am sure other partners as well, are standing ready to support Member States to deliver those trainings by sending trainers to Member States if the need be.

Just in April, a German training team delivered a training on how to investigate and prevent sexual and gender-based violence in Bhutan to police officers from multiple countries.

With the Light-Coordination Mechanism, the UN created a tool to bring Member States together in this regard.

Let’s start our way in strengthening peace operations here. Let’s take it to the Summit of the Future in September and let’s continue from there to the Peacekeeping Ministerial in May 2025 in Berlin. Germany intends to dedicate more time and space for UN policing at this next Ministerial in order to continue the long way ahead.

We, Germany, will continue to do our part: with funds, by deploying police officers and by offering to share our knowledge and experience.

Let us keep moving forward together.

Thank you very much.

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