By Reinhard Jacobsen
BRUSSELS (IDN) – The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States have expressed interest in strengthening the cooperation between the two organizations.
This was underlined by the INTERPOL special representative to the European Union Pierre St. Hilaire’s meeting with the ACP Secretary General Dr. Patrick Gomes and the ACP Committee of Ambassadors on July 18, 2019 at ACP House in Brussels.
According to the ACP Secretariat, St. Hilaire briefed the organization’s representatives on the vision and objectives of INTERPOL. He stressed the need for Interpol to reinforce cooperation with the ACP Group as it is the largest transcontinental grouping of developing countries consisting of 79 member countries.
He presented examples of INTERPOL actions in ACP countries, mainly in the area of capacity building such as in the training of local security services in forensics and body identification, notably during the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the recent crash of the Ethiopian Airlines near Addis Ababa.
Explaining that the main role of INTERPOL is to connect police forces around the world to solve international crimes, he also addressed the popular portrayal and misperceptions of Interpol drawing attention to the fact that Interpol does not interfere with the sovereignty of its 194 member countries.
ACP Ambassadors exchanged views with St. Hilaire on several security issues threatening the Group’s member states and commended his initiative as the theme of security is high on the agenda of the ongoing negotiations for a new partnership between the ACP and the European Union.
INTERPOL is an international organization that facilitates worldwide police cooperation and crime control. Headquartered in Lyon, France, it was founded in 1923 as the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC). The name INTERPOL served as the agency’s telegraphic address in 1946 and was chosen as its common name in 1956.
INTERPOL provides investigative support, expertise, and training to law enforcement worldwide in battling three major areas of transnational crime: terrorism, cybercrime, and organized crime. Its broad mandate covers virtually every kind of crime, including crimes against humanity, child pornography, drug trafficking and production, political corruption, copyright infringement, and white-collar crime.
The agency also helps coordinate cooperation among the world’s law enforcement institutions through criminal databases and communications networks.
INTERPOL has enjoyed a special role – that of Permanent Observer at the United Nations – since 1996. First established by General Assembly Resolution 51/1, this status was formalized in a Cooperation Agreement in 1997.
INTERPOL-UN cooperation has since been enshrined in both UN General Assembly and Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, especially as concerns terrorism and human trafficking. We also combine our capabilities in the form of Special Notices issued to alert law enforcement to individuals and entities subject to UNSC sanctions.
In November 2004, the organization opened the Office of the Special Representative of INTERPOL to the United Nations in New York. A subsidiary Permanent Observer Office opened at the UN Office in Vienna in 2018.
“This physical proximity to two UN Headquarters allows us to more easily draw attention to areas where the UN can leverage INTERPOL’s tools and services, and explore cooperation opportunities in a more dynamic manner,” says the organization’s website.
It adds: “Our staff are in regular contact with United Nations agencies and the Permanent Missions of Member States to the United Nations. This networking ensures that the concerns of global law enforcement are adequately represented in international policies and initiatives, and in identifying potential partners. [IDN-InDepthNews – 09 August 2019]
Photo (top): Interpol protecting Gendama land border.
Photo in text: INTERPOL special representative to the European Union Pierre St. Hilaire.
IDN is flagship agency of the International Press Syndicate.
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