UN Civilian Police Conference in Helsinki 14-15.2.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the United Nations Department for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) are jointly hosting an international conference on civilian policing in Helsinki on 14-15 February 2002. The conference will deal with speeding up operational readiness and developing UN procedures for this purpose. In this connection, the creation of a rapid On-Call register to support the rule of law will also be announced.
The conference is part of the process undertaken by the UN for comprehensive development of its peacekeeping operations. The report of the Brahimi Panel on this issue was adopted at the UN Millennium Assembly in 2000. The implementation of the Brahimi Report has started in many fields and has gained broad support among UN member countries.
The UN engaged in its first civilian police operations in the 1960s. In the early days they were aimed mainly at monitoring, advising and training police. During the conflicts in the Balkans and East Timor the mandates were extended as the international police had to substitute for the local police.
The difficulties encountered when launching the police operation in Kosovo raised the need to improve rapid deployment. The UN is currently upgrading the on-call capability of police personnel under its command, a development that could contribute to the advance planning of operations. There is also a need to link police action more closely with a supportive judicial system.
Civilian crisis management is one of the main focuses of Finnish foreign policy. Finland supports strengthening the crisis management capability of the UN and the implementation of the Brahimi Report. There is also a need to develop cohesion among international organisations in the field of conflict prevention and crisis management.
More than 100 experts representing more than 50 countries will attend the conference. Representatives of the OSCE and the EU have also been invited to attend.
The participants have been offered an opportunity to visit Tampere Police School, where an international UN civilian police course is currently being held. Police officers from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland are taking part in the course.
The conference will be opened by Mr. Antti Satuli, Secretary of State at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. At the opening session Mr Kari Häkämies, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of the Interior, will also address the conference.
For further information please contact Ambassador Laura Reinilä, Security Policy Unit, tel 1341 6074