MONTE CARLO, Monaco/SINT MAARTEN – The INTERPOL General Assembly opened on Monday with a gathering of Justice, Home Affairs and Security Ministers from some 100 countries which will examine the evolution of international police cooperation and chart the course for facing the crime challenges of the future.
The Ministerial meeting, which marks the beginning of the five-day (3 – 7 November) 83rd INTERPOL General Assembly in Monaco with the theme ‘Turn Back Crime: 100 years of international police cooperation’, serves as a forum for more than 1,000 delegates from 166 countries to discuss key issues including building strong law enforcement institutions, and increasing collaboration between police and the public and private sectors.
Representing Sint Maarten is Minister of Justice Hon. Dennis Richardson and Chief Police Commissioner Peter de Witte. Country Sint Maarten is a member of INTERPOL and has its own National Central Bureau.
The ministers will review the history of global police cooperation and how law enforcement has evolved throughout the past 100 years to collectively combat transnational organized crime. Critical questions for the future of international policing will also be addressed, including how countries can best prepare for contemporary crime challenges by expanding partnerships beyond the law enforcement realm.
Opening the conference, HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco said the evolution of crime and criminal organizations since his great-great-grandfather Prince Albert I brought together police and judicial leaders for the first International Criminal Police Congress in 1914 means INTERPOL’s role in coordinating the world’s police has become more important than ever before.
“The growth in economic trade and the free movement of people requires a strong reaction from the police, extending beyond the borders of states, so as not to be surpassed by the actions of malicious individuals who exploit the advantages of our globalized world,” said Prince Albert.
“Today, INTERPOL is the most effective structure for fighting transnational organized crime. Your exchanges and discussions will permit you to assess the measures carried out during the past years, notably for improving the capacity of police to adapt their methods to new types of crimes connected to advances in technology,” he concluded.
INTERPOL President Mireille Ballestrazzi said this historical gathering underlines the vision of the global leaders who created INTERPOL out of the first International Criminal Police Congress in bringing the world’s police together as a unified force against the ever-changing criminal threat.
“The terrorist threat has never been stronger, while cybercrime is spreading throughout the virtual world. Our environment, the health of our populations are also threatened by greedy traffickers seeking to profit.
“Faced with these new threats, law enforcement agencies have mobilized. They have become better organized, better equipped, better trained, more professional. In short, they have adapted, making the best use of technical and scientific advances such as centralized files, exploitation of evidence, communication systems, monitoring devices, protective equipment,” concluded Ms Ballestrazzi.
The Ministerial gathering heard that, despite the progress made, crime and terrorism continue to pose a significant threat to society, underlining the need for continued efforts to build and strengthen police institutions and share policies, practices and procedures to ensure efficient law enforcement cooperation.
“The world has changed and police have adapted to new forms of crime which threaten the security of our society,” said Régis Asso, Monaco’s Director of Public Security.
“Today we have the pleasure of reuniting to continue the visionary initiative launched in 1914 and reflect on the results of one hundred years of international police cooperation for a safer world,” added Mr Asso.
A joint Ministerial declaration will be issued at the conclusion of the meeting to encourage all member countries to take the necessary steps to strengthen international police cooperation against all forms of transnational crime, with an emphasis on terrorism. In particular, the declaration will call on countries to develop new police technologies, eliminate legal barriers and generate strategies to support the global law enforcement community’s efforts to fight crime. (INTERPOL)