Today I chaired a United Nations Security Council meeting which unanimously adopted an Australian resolution that will strengthen the effectiveness of police deployments in UN peacekeeping and political missions around the world.

The resolution is a key initiative of Australia’s Presidency of the Security Council, and is the first time the Council has provided strategic guidance on the critical role that police play in peacekeeping missions and post-conflict peacebuilding.

The role of UN uniformed police and civilian policing experts has grown substantially, in increasingly challenging threat environments. The number of police deployed to UN missions has expanded by more than seven times over the past 20 years – with over 12,300 police currently deployed in 13 peacekeeping operations and four special political missions. 

Australia’s resolution will improve standards, guidance and training for police deployments on UN Missions, while also recognising their role in protecting civilians and combatting organised crime and terrorism.

Significantly, it also emphasises the role of women’s participation in policing and urges the deployment of more women in UN police missions.  The full and effective participation of women is vital for developing and enhancing police and other security services, building ties between police and the communities they serve, and for promoting a successful transition to stable post-conflict societies. This has been a priority for Australia throughout our Council term.

Our experience has shown that police are central to stabilisation and long-term peacebuilding efforts. UN police can play a clear role in supporting reform and rebuilding of police forces in post-conflict countries, ensuring local forces serve and protect the community, and helping to restore the rule of law and paving the way for economic and social development.

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