Statement by Mr. Petr Iliichev, Chargé d'Affaires, at the opening ceremony of the photo exhibition dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the participation of Russian policemen in the UN peacekeeping operations
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am glad to welcome you at the opening of the photo exhibition dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the participation of Russian policemen in the UN peacekeeping operations. Your interest to this event explicitly demonstrates the high importance of the work that peacekeeping policemen are doing.
The multiple increase in the number of police forces serving in the majority of UN missions reflects the number of threats recently faced by countries in a conflict or post-conflict stage.
Since 1992 the Russian Federation has been providing police officers to the peacekeeping operations under the auspices of the United Nations. For 25 years, more than 500 Russian policemen have become peacekeepers.
The first mission, Russian policemen served in, was the UN Peacekeeping Operation in the former Yugoslavia - the UN Protection Forces (UNPROFOR), which held from February 1992 to March 1995. At that time, Russia's quota of the police component was equal to 41 peacekeepers.
In addition, Russian policemen participated in UN Peacekeeping Operations in the Balkans, in particular in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Eastern Slavonia, as well as in Cambodia, Haiti, Sierra Leone, East Timor, Congo, Georgia, Liberia and Sudan. Images from this chronicle you may see today at the photos presented at the exhibition.
Today, Russian policemen are involved in UN Peacekeeping Operations in South Sudan, Haiti and Cyprus. 15% of them are women.
It is important for us that UN representatives have repeatedly noted the high professionalism of Russian peacekeepers. We will continue to support the training level of Russian peacekeepers, including female police officers, who play a vital role in the investigation of certain types of crimes, including sexual violence of women and children. In Russia itself, the contribution of women to the police is steadily growing.
Russia is striving for contributing to improvethe effectiveness of police peacekeepers, including foreigners. Since 2000, more than 350 foreign police peacekeepers, including commanders, from more than 50 countries, mostly from Africa, have been trained in Russian Institute for Advanced Training of the Ministry for Internal Affairs in Domodedovo city (Moscow region). About 70 women were among them. Russia has a unique experience in the field of training peacekeepers, which are ready to share.
Thus, following the participation of the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Kolokoltsev, in the first summit of the heads UN member states of police departments in June 2016, it was decided to conduct an advanced training course for 40 African female police officers at the training center in Domodedovo from May 11 to June 21 this year. Upon its completion, an international seminar on the selection of female police officers for UN peacekeeping missions will be held from June 21 to June 24 with the participation of the UN Police Department.
In conclusion, let me also express my gratitude to all peacekeeping police officers working in the UN system for their valuable and selfless work, sometimes under extremely difficult conditions.
Thank you for attention.