INTERPOL Chief says Commonwealth of Independent States collaboration is a model for other regions
Armenia becomes first CIS country to recognize INTERPOL passport
YEREVAN, Armenia – Addressing the Council of Ministers of Internal Affairs of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in Yerevan today, INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said that the region’s impressive cooperation with the world police body played an important role in the global fight against crime and terrorism.
Mr Noble’s remarks follow his meeting with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan who agreed to grant INTERPOL passport holders special visa waiver status, saying that ‘in today’s world, law enforcement officers holding INTERPOL passports should not be delayed in travelling to countries which have asked for assistance.’
President Sargsyan’s support and recognition that no additional burdens should be placed on INTERPOL officials responding to requests from member countries were praised by Secretary General Noble as ‘a significant step forward in enhancing national, regional and global security.’
The INTERPOL passport, now officially recognized by 24 countries, is aimed at facilitating the worldwide deployment of INTERPOL officials, chiefs of law enforcement agencies, heads of National Central Bureaus and staff by allowing them to travel internationally on official INTERPOL business without requiring a visa prior to boarding a plane to assist in transnational investigations or in urgent deployments.
Since taking the helm of the world police body in 2000, Mr Noble said that the CIS region had repeatedly shown innovation and unwavering support in its commitment to INTERPOL and the global law enforcement community, pointing to the creation of the INTERPOL Anti-Heroin Smuggling Training Centre in Russia in 2007 and the expansion of access to INTERPOL’s tools to frontline police in more than 50 remote sites across Central Asia through an EU-funded project.
Secretary General Noble’s presence at the CIS Ministers meeting in Yerevan follows his participation at the ‘Donbass Anti-Terror 2011’ exercise organized by the CIS Anti-Terrorism Centre and the Security Service of Ukraine in Donetsk last month. That event and the willingness of both Russia and Belarus to share evidence and intelligence obtained after the January 2011 attack on Domodedovo International airport and the Oktyabrskaya subway station bombing in Minsk just months later were hailed by Mr Noble as a demonstration of the region’s collaborative approach to security.
“The close cooperation between the member countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States serves as a model for other regions of the world in ensuring that they present a united and effective front against transnational criminals and terrorists,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.
“This collective approach is vital in maximizing the ability of each individual country to better combat these shared threats, and is a strategy clearly employed by all countries in the region to protect citizens and visitors,” added the INTERPOL chief.
“International police cooperation via INTERPOL is essential in creating opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of national police services and therefore of regional and international security,” said Minister of the Republic of Armenia and Head of the Police, Lieutenant-General Alik Sargsyan.
“We are committed to using an international approach in the fight against crime, working with INTERPOL to protect our borders and citizens from terrorists and other criminals and also to send a strong message to the global criminal community that it cannot evade justice in Armenia,” added the police chief.
During his mission, Mr Noble also visited the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in Yerevan where he was briefed on a range of policing activities including drug enforcement and human trafficking.