New model for UN Police being devised

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Female police officers of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). UN Photo/Logan Abassi

A new model on how to better utilize police contributions to the UN has been tabled by a panel tasked with reviewing the way the whole division works.

Hilde Johnson, a former UN senior official, is presently a co-chair of the team charged with conducting an external review.

Speaking at UN Headquarters on Wednesday, she said the model would prioritize the needs of host-nations, allow for a more flexible mandate, and aim to recruit and deploy officers differently.

Matthew Wells has more.

The review is a follow-up to last year's High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO).

The traditional role of United Nations Police, UNPOL, is often a monitoring one where large numbers of police are deployed to oversee ceasefires and peace agreements.

During a briefing on a report released by the police review team, Ms Johnson said that the police division and UNPOL have been struggling to cope with a model that does not fit their current mandates or the needs of countries where they are serving, she noted.

She added that more specialized teams have been recently deployed and some innovations have taken place, Johnson said, but it is not institutionalized enough.

"The host-states clear message to us was they only need a larger number of individual police officers and formed police units at the outset to calm things down. When things have stabilized, they told us they need help with building their police institutions and their national police services. They requested more specialists, more teams with having additional capacities and more and longer term training of their people."

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The review panel has been engaging with most of the host countries, including in-depth discussions with six of them.

Johnson added the core review team has been engaging with all peacekeeping missions that have been deploying police.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 1'11"

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