Statement by Turkey at the United Nations Chiefs of Police Summit (UN COPS)

Güven Begeç 03.06.2016

Mr Chair,

I congratulate the Police Division of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) for organising the United Nations Chiefs of Police Summit (UN COPS). I thank the Deputy Secretary-General and the Under-Secretary-Generals for their statements this morning. I also thank the Assistant-Secretary-General and the panellists for their remarks.

First, I would like to pay tribute to the United Nations peacekeeping personnel from over 120 Member States serving under the blue banner and express my deepest sympathy for the peacekeepers who made the ultimate sacrifice for the noble cause of peace.

Peacekeeping has become more dangerous given the growing challenges to international peace and security and the more asymmetrical and violent characters of the ongoing conflicts. Yet, as a result of this very trend, the need for international peacekeeping is on the rise.

Today, the United Nations currently has more than 100 thousands uniformed personnel, men and women, serving in 16 different peacekeeping missions deployed in some most daring places across the world. Those peacekeepers fulfil their duties with great courage and dedication.

13,500 of them form the manpower of the UN Police –the “Blue Berets”. The police components comprised of uniformed police officers and civilian policing experts have become integral parts of the United Nations peace operations. Their contributions are particularly important for the accomplishment of specific mission mandates in different peacekeeping and peacebuilding settings.

The UN Police has been providing expert assistance and technical guidance for host-state police and law enforcement authorities, helping them in strategic planning, supervising particular processes such as rule of law and security sector reform, and in some places where national police structures basically non-existent, it takes the lead in the generation and formation of such services.

The diverse and complex policing-related tasks that the UN Police is assigned obviously increases the need for specialised police teams in addition to the Formed Police Units (FPU) and Individual Police Officers (IPOs) especially in the areas of counter-IED, criminal investigation and forensics, etc. These are among the key enablers of the UN peace operations.

Mr Chair,

We believe that this Summit, like the last year’s UN Chiefs-of-Staffs Summit, will further contribute to our collective efforts to strengthen the United Nations’ capacity.

The United Nations has been going through a set of review processes that aim to improve the functioning of the United Nations system. To that end, the “High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations” (HIPPO) has put forward a number of important recommendations that have to a great extent been taken by the Secretary-General in its action-agenda. In this regard, Turkey acknowledged the Secretary-General’s announcement last April that most of these recommendations were at different stage of implementation.

In the same vein, the Secretary-General’s instruction to launch an external review of the functions, structure and capacity of the Police Division has been an important decision based on the provisions of the 2015 report of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C-34).

As the review report has just published, it will require careful consideration. As a preliminary remark, the report identifies some “significant gaps” in the actual operational model of the UN Police and calls for a “paradigm shift” that will be built on the imperatives of tailoring support to the host-country's needs. Turkey takes note the review’s recommendation of “new police recruitment and deployment models to field missions”.

Turkey considers that the external review’s key findings and recommendations especially those that realistically identify the shortcomings in the system and propose achievable solutions should be reflected in the Secretary-General’s report on UN Police pursuant to resolution 2185 (2014) of the Security Council.

Mr Chair,

Turkeys continues to contribute in United Nations peacekeeping operations. There are 91 Turkish police officers currently serving in UN missions in Haiti, Mali, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, South-Sudan, Côte d’Ivoire and Kosovo. Since 1996, 2,192 Turkish police officers have participated in the United Nations peace operations. As a TCC “and” PCC country, Turkey also participates in UN peacekeeping missions with military personnel and assets.

Turkish peacekeepers also serve in various non-UN peacekeeping missions such as NATO and EU missions in Afghanistan, the Balkans and the Middle East where they train security personnel, help capacity and institution-building of local security forces, provide technical assistance to local law enforcement authorities.

Turkey welcomed the strong support by the Member States to commit additional assets to the United Nations peacekeeping operations at the Peacekeeping Leaders’ Summit on 28 September 2015. Turkey pledged to commit more personnel and assets for the United Nations peacekeeping operations in Mali or Central African Republic. Turkey also pledged training programmes for UN uniformed personnel in its renowned military and police institutions.

We are working closely with the DPKO/Police Division on the arrangements that will enable the Turkish National Police to organize specialized training courses for 20 personnel from MINUSMA (Mali), UNSOM (Somalia) and MONUSCO (DRC) in 2016.

Mr Chair,

I shall not conclude my statement without referring to the “zero tolerance” policy for sexual exploitation and abuse cases that UN personnel were involved as it undermines the very foundation of the UN. This utterly disgraceful acts should cease and the perpetrators must be prosecuted.

Thank you.