Mr. Chairman,

We would like to thank the speakers for their presentations. Switzerland would like to express its gratitude to the police officers who, day after day and sometimes in very difficult conditions, are committed to maintaining law and order, protecting civilians and developing the police capabilities of host countries. We pay tribute to all those who have lost their lives working for a safer, more peaceful world.

Let me highlight three points:

The development of local police capabilities is essential. The host state must be able to ensure the safety of its citizens. In particular, a substantial effort is required to develop capabilities in terms of maintaining public order, for example in the run-up to elections, as we expect to see in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. Special police teams can play an important role in this training, as well as in other areas such as forensic science, community policing and the fight against gender-based violence. In the context of transitions and military reductions of missions, the Council should consider the possibility of temporarily increasing the police component on a case-by-case basis. This is to ensure that the host state is optimally supported in taking over police and judicial functions. This increase in the strength of non-military bodies should also be coordinated with the agencies, funds and programs that continue UN action after a mission has been withdrawn, thus enhancing the sustainability of initiatives undertaken during the mission.

Secondly, the police have a crucial role to play in protecting civilians as part of their engagement with the population. Indeed, their network is a key element of the early warning system. Consequently, it is essential to have personnel able to communicate, independently or through assistance, in local languages. The police component's involvement with community protection committees in the Abyei context is an example of this, which we welcome pending the formation of the Abyei Police Service (APS). In this respect, police-contributing countries should ensure that deployed personnel are adequately trained, so that the information obtained is translated into effective planning, including with regard to protection operations. It is also important that commanders are well prepared for such challenges. This is why Switzerland is hosting the United Nations Police Commanders Course, which began yesterday in Switzerland.

Thirdly, the efforts made to improve the performance of the police component are positive. We welcome efforts to integrate the various components of a mission, notably at the level of joint operations and analysis centers. This integration must, however, be accompanied by a clear delineation of the functions of each component. The police have different functions to those of the military and civilian components. Dilution should be avoided. The systematic implementation of the Comprehensive Planning and Performance Assessment System (CPAS) is an important step towards measuring the performance of a mission as a whole. In this respect, we feel it is important for missions to focus not only on figures, but also on qualitative assessments. For example, not only should the number of patrols be counted, but also their impact. A systematic process of feedback would enable us to identify successes and failures and draw lessons from them. This also includes a review of the quality of equipment and staff training.

Mr. Chairman,

The police component can play a key role, among other things, in strengthening the rule of law, prevention, and combating arms proliferation, which are important elements of the New Agenda for Peace. The recent authorization by this Council of the security mission for Haiti takes this role into account. Switzerland will continue to contribute to the efforts of the UN police by making available police officers with the required expertise and language skills. This in order to increase the impact of peace missions.

I thank you.

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