The report provides information about police capacity and institution building undertaken by OSCE field operations in support of their respective host-State governments and describes developments in activities conducted by the SPMU.
The report also describes developments involving new or ongoing activities conducted by the OSCE Strategic Police Matters Unit (SPMU). Attention is drawn to the role of the OSCE Senior Police Adviser to the Secretary General (SPA) and to resource and other matters at the conclusion of the report. The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Annual Report on Police–Related Activities for 2005 and the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM) Annual Report on Police-Related Activities for 2005-2006 are attached to this report as appendices.
While only very limited progress towards conceptualization of an OSCE Justice and Security Sector Reform model could be achieved in 2005, the need for transition from isolated activities to a comprehensive approach was validated by external events; this validity does not have an expiration date.
Police in the OSCE participating States may have diverse priority problems, but there is also a common denominator – what is often missing is a platform that will help them to rise above the threshold separating their current practices from good practices applied by police in democratic countries, based on respect for human rights. The United Nations Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials, the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, and the European Code of Police Ethics represent corner-stones of this platform for knowledge-based policing.
Effective policing helps create an environment for sustainable development. Beyond that, good policing, which serves the people rather than the state, is central to preventing conflicts, to preserving social stability during crises and emergencies, and to supporting post-conflict reconstruction and rehabilitation. While these tasks are the responsibility of national governments, the OSCE is there to help participating States achieve these goals.
If the police are to be successful, then they require the support and respect of the public. This can only come about if the police are accountable for their actions, adhere to international recognized standards, and demonstrate respect for human rights, especially those of minorities and vulnerable population groups. True democratic policing is a partnership between the public and the police, characterized by mutual trust and respect.
The SPMU approach to supporting policing development will continue to stress “police serving people.” Its focus will be regional while its actions will be local and pragmatic, emphasizing the development of basic policing skills. It will focus on cultivating a fluid, flexible work style that allows it to foresee and respond rapidly to newly emerging needs and crises.
Strategically, over the longer term, the SPMU will continue emphasizing the importance of co-operation and dialogue, both within the Organization and with external partners. Keeping in mind that forward-looking activities require medium-term planning at a minimum, the SPMU endorses a unified approach to budgetary funding that optimizes the use of donor resources while reducing duplication and overlaps.