Following is the text of UN Secretary General António Guterres’ video message to be displayed at the opening of United Nations Police Week, today:
Sixty years ago, Member States first deployed national police officers as United Nations Police — or UNPOL. This was undertaken as part of United Nations peacekeeping operations, to help protect those most in need around the world.
UNPOL’s mission is to help host countries foster responsive, accountable and representative policing services. Effective policing is crucial for building peaceful, prosperous and equitable societies.
Today, more than 11,000 United Nations police officers are working around the world to do just that. UNPOL has also played a crucial role during the COVID‑19 pandemic. By facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid. Raising awareness and fighting stigmatization. Making public spaces healthier and more sanitary. And assisting national counterparts to reorient their policing efforts to protect and promote the human rights of all.
As we look forward, we must continue to critically assess capacities, innovate, modernize and improve to keep and build peace better.
Every United Nations police officer bears the responsibility to embody and promote the values of our Organization. And to make a positive, lasting impact on the lives of the women, men, girls and boys whom we serve around the world. I count on you to stay the course by continuing to save lives and by instilling trust and hope in those you serve: the people of our world.