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Annual Report of the Secretary General on Police-Related Activities in 2006


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.


For the SPMU, 2006 was a year of transition. During the previous years, over 20 police assistance projects were formulated by the SPMU at the request of the OSCE participating States and in consultation with field operations. It became clear, however, that extra-budgetary funding could not provide an adequate basis for their implementation. A process of conversion to the funding from unified budget was initiated, one of the consequences being transfer of responsibility for programme development to Heads of Field Operations. Under the guidance of the SPA, the SPMU aligned their activities more closely with the specific tasking contained in the Ministerial Declarations and the various OSCE Action Plans, as described in Section 1 of the present report. The SPMU has thus flexibly responded to the demand for change.


Throughout 2006, the SPA led SPMU staff in articulating to the police authorities in the participating States the objectives of democratic police services and forces; the importance of their commitment to the rule of law, policing ethics, and human rights standards; the essential nature of police accountability to the law and to the society they serve; as well as the need for their co-operation with the communities, recognizing that effective policing requires partnership with the communities being served. The above support to policy development was underpinned by the compilation and publication of the Guidebook on Democratic Policing by the Senior Police Adviser to the OSCE Secretary General. It permitted to operationalize pre-existing norms, standards, good principles and lessons learned and to make these norms and standards accessible for practitioners concerned with policing and administration of justice.


Organized crime has become a global problem that affects all of the OSCE participating States. The threat of such offenses such as trafficking in human beings, sexual exploitation of children, drug trafficking that are tremendously damaging to societies and economies have been prominently recognized by the OSCE. The SPMU activities in support of the fight against organized crime proceed from the recognition of the fact that efficient and effective criminal justice systems based on the rule of law form a prerequisite for combating organized crime, and specialist responses to connected security challenges must take place within the overall framework of a criminal justice system.


The SPMU continued serving as a main collection point and central repository for OSCE policing-related institutional knowledge, providing the platform for sharing information resulting from OSCE activities, from local initiatives and from development work of other international organizations and agencies. The growing information environment in the OSCE requires proactive policies in regards to collection and dissemination of information, with particular emphasis on the needs of thematic units, both, in the field operations and institutions. In response to these requirements, the SPMU Policing OnLine Information System (POLIS) was launched in November 2006 on the occasion of the OSCE Chiefs of Police Meeting in Brussels, held under the auspices of the Belgian OSCE Chairmanship.