National Statement of Finland at the third United Nations Chiefs of Police Summit (UNCOPS 2022) on 1st September, 2022

Read the National Statement of Finland at the third United Nations Chiefs of Police Summit (UNCOPS 2022) delivered by Mr. Seppo Kolehmainen, National Police Commissioner of Finland, on 1st September, 2022.

Mr. Chair, Ministers, Excellences, National Police Commissioner Colleagues from around the world,

We align ourselves with the Nordic Statement just delivered by our Danish colleague, Ms. Lykke Sørensen, and would like to add a few points from our national perspective.

As this third UN Chiefs of Police Summit demonstrates - the role of policing in the UN peace operations is ever more crucial. We commend the Department of Peace Operations for arranging this valuable conference which is a unique opportunity for chiefs of police from the UN Member States to interact with the UN and to address together the key challenges that UN peacekeeping is facing today.

As a solution, we fully support the implementation of the Action for Peacekeeping and Action for Peacekeeping Plus – agendas, as well as improved mandates for operations. While the operational arena for UN peacekeeping has become ever more complex, the need for quality policing and skilled police experts has multiplied.  As of today, the UN police plays a fundamental role in supporting host state’s national law enforcement institutions capacity building in environments, where transnational organized crime, terrorism and extremism as well as mis- and disinformation campaigns pose threats to civilians, host governments and peacekeepers alike. Our police peacekeeper’s efforts affect also our own countries external and internal security, which are interlinked.

In order to address these growing challenges, I wish to highlight three key areas:

First, the challenges and threats policing respond to - whether back home or while serving in UN peace operations - are ever more complex. Therefore, training plays a key role in preparing police experts to effectively carry out their duties despite these challenges, and it has to evolve accordingly. Finland strongly supports efforts to develop standardized and specialized trainings to ensure that mandates are implemented effectively and challenges are met by quality policing responses. Finland is a committed partner of the UN in developing new standards and rolling out training courses. This year’s UN Police Commander’s Course will be organized in Tampere, Finland, this coming October.

Secondly, we support concepts, such as Specialized Police Teams, that are tailored to specific areas of expertise which are essential to accomplish UNPOL mandates. Finland, together with Norway, have had a Specialized Police Team focused on Sexual and Gender-Based violence in UNMISS, South Sudan, for over five years now. We remain open to participate in further SPT-teams as well.

Thirdly, I would like to reiterate Finland's firm commitment to the implementation of the resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. We strongly support the UN’s efforts to increase the share of women in the UN Police components. The participation of women in police peacekeeping is a key priority to Finland and we believe that it is also a key to more successful operations. Finland has consistently aimed to increase the number of female police officers recruited to the UN peacekeeping operations by improving our national guidelines. To remove national restrictions delaying especially deployment of women, we decreased the minimum years of police work experience required from the candidates to start the process from eight to six years following the UN standards and recommendations. At the moment, 30% of our 20 police pledge including Individual Police Officers (IPOs) and 100% of contracted Finnish police experts are female.

To conclude, Finland remains steadfastly committed to support the implementation of the UN reviews initiated by the Secretary-General and their recommendations, to improve the capabilities and impact of the UN Police.

Thank you for your attention.