INTERPOL sets blueprint for fighting 21st century crime and terrorism
DOHA, Qatar – Delegates at INTERPOL's 79th General Assembly have backed a series of resolutions which will strengthen national and international policing and provide a strong basis to identify and combat future crime and terrorism threats.
Last November, Operation Baba, a five-country law enforcement operation in Africa co-ordinated by INTERPOL with the support of The Humane Society of Canada and other dedicated groups, resulted in the arrest of 57 people and the seizure of one ton of illegal elephant ivory. The one-day sweep targeted more than 50 locations, including local ivory markets, airports, border crossings and smuggling points involving more than 300 law enforcement officers from police, customs, national wildlife and national intelligence agencies in Congo (Brazzaville), Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia, and represented the largest-ever international wildlife law enforcement operation conducted in Africa.
“We are proud to continue with our longstanding relationship with INTERPOL as they continue with their worldwide crackdown on these international organized crime syndicates,” says HSC Regional Director Al Hickey. Once these syndicates discover a successful pipeline, they often work with others to smuggle contraband, weapons, drugs and people.
Recently,A worldwide operation co-ordinated by INTERPOL and involving 51 countries across all five continents against the illegal trade in reptiles and amphibians has resulted in arrests worldwide and the seizure of thousands of animals as well as of products worth more than 25 million Euros.
A key decision in supporting the world police organization's future activities was the unanimous endorsement of the establishment of the INTERPOL Global Complex in Singapore which will boost law enforcement capability in tackling cybercrime and provide cutting edge research and development facilities for all 188 member countries.
The adoption of the INTERPOL Travel Document initiative will also enable the Organization to provide faster on-site support to member countries requesting assistance, with countries granting special visa status to staff travelling on official business.
Closing the conference, INTERPOL President Khoo Boon Hui told delegates that they had begun a 'challenging, yet exciting journey' that will bring the Organization even closer and more responsive to the realities of modern-day crime threats.
"As we conclude this General Assembly, we start the implementation of major projects that will revolutionise the way INTERPOL supports its member countries," said President Khoo.
"With the overwhelming mandate given to our Secretary General and INTERPOL's strategy of collaborative partnerships with both private and public sectors, I am confident that international police co-operation can be further enhanced," he concluded.
INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said that the General Assembly's strong endorsement of INTERPOL's strategic roadmap would enable the Organization to make further headway in addressing crime threats in the 21st century and especially in countering cybercrime.
"The decisions taken by this General Assembly show that more than ever before our member countries count on INTERPOL not only to build on existing strengths but also to use our expertise to identify and forge new paths for law enforcement worldwide," said Secretary General Noble.
In addition to electing Ronald K. Noble to serve a third five-year term at the head of the Organization, delegates at the four-day meeting (8-11 November) also voted to appoint Mireille Ballestrazzi, Deputy Central Director of the French Judicial Police, to INTERPOL's Executive Committee as the new Vice President for the European region.
Improving co-operation in combating terrorism, human trafficking, people smuggling, environmental crime and counterfeit medical products were also high on the agenda of the General Assembly which brought together some 650 senior law enforcement officials from 141 countries.
Mr Billy Hawkes, Chairman of the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL's Files, presented its annual activity report for 2009. This Commission is an independent body which represents the Organization's commitment to the outside world and its willingness to be accountable to an independent body for the manner in which it deals with the sensitive information entrusted to it. The role the Commission plays is essential to the mutually reinforcing objectives of effective police work and respect for individual human rights by INTERPOL.