In countries affected by war, citizens often perceive police forces as a potential threat. Building a well-trained, democratically-controlled and effective police force that respects the rule of law is therefore essential to rebuild trust and foster durable peace. It also helps to prevent future conflicts.
Germany is a strong promoter of the development of effective police forces and has so far deployed more than 8,500 officers to UN, EU and bilateral police missions. With around 320 law enforcement officers drawn from the Federal and State police forces, Germany currently contributes to eleven UN and EU police missions and staffs its bilateral German Police Project Team (GPPT) in Afghanistan. The German Government also contributes to capacity building of police officers through bilateral training and equipment measures in countries ranging from Côte d'Ivoire to Kosovo.
Today, policing is seen as a crucial part of UN peace operations. Since the early 1990s, UN police missions have increasingly taken over mentoring and training functions in addition to their traditional monitoring activities, thus offering peace operations the opportunity to act as a corrective mechanism with domestic police and other law enforcement agencies. In accordance with their growing tasks, the number of United Nations Police officers in peacekeeping operations and special political missions has significantly risen from 5,840 in 1995 to around 13,000 today. UN police missions are coordinated and planned by the UN Police Division which is led by German national Mr. Stefan Feller.
After a high-level conference in 2012 in Berlin with around 80 participating states, Germany established a “Group of Friends of UN Police” which comprises the UN Secretariat and Member States engaged in UN policing. The group's main objectives are to raise awareness of the role of UN Police, to advise and support the UN in the further strategic and operative development of the Police Division, to increase contributions by Member States to UN policing and to help the UN in coordinating Member States’ donor activity and involvement.