Officers from the United Nations Standing Police Capacity will undergo two weeks of training in transitional justice and other aspects of peacekeeping at the top police leadership centre in the United Kingdom from 8-19 October ahead of deployment to their first mission, senior UN Police officers said today.
“This is a key stage of the unit’s training and will focus on all aspects of global policing, peacekeeping and team building. We are especially grateful to the UK, Germany and Sweden for partnering the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in running this course,” Police Adviser Andrew Hughes told the UN News Service.
Between 12 to 17 Standing Police Capacity (SPC) officers will attend the course, which will mark the last stage of their training before they leave for their first mission which is expected to be in Chad sometime later this year, said SPC Chief Walter Wolf.
“SPC officers come from all parts of the world and so the objective of this course is to build on the policing expertise already in the group by providing everyone with the key concepts and latest thinking on peacekeeping and building institutional capacity among the police in post-conflict countries. This will put us in good stead for upcoming missions,” said Mr. Wolf.
The Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) Police Division has been working since last year to put together an initial team of 25 SPC officers, chosen for their skills in all aspects of policing and law enforcement and recruited based on merit, geographic diversity and gender balance.
The initiative was first called for in 2004 by a blue-ribbon group of experts brought together by the UN to examine security threats in the 21st century. Member States endorsed the concept of the SPC during their World Summit in September 2005 as a way to deal with the unprecedented demand for peacekeepers in general and police officers in particular.
Mr. Wolf said that once operational the SPC will have two main roles. Firstly, to provide immediate start-up capability on the ground for the police components of new UN peacekeeping missions, and secondly to provide rapid support and technical assistance to existing UN operations.