New INTERPOL President chosen by General Assembly.

8 October 2004

CANCUN, Mexico - Delegates at the 73rd INTERPOL General Assembly have elected Jackie Selebi, National Commissioner of the South African Police Service as the organization's new President.

A former representative of South Africa at the United Nations, Commissioner Selebi replaces the outgoing President Jesús Espigares Mira, Director of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Spanish National Police. Mr Espigares Mira served as INTERPOL's president from 2000.

As President, Mr Selebi's role during his four year term will include chairing meetings of the Executive Committee, the body which supervises the implementation of decisions taken at the General Assembly.

In taking up his post as President of INTERPOL, Jackie Selebi said one of his priorities would be working to help strengthen weaker regions among INTERPOL's member countries.

'We need to ensure that areas such as the Caribbean and Africa become part and parcel of the organization, and we need to accrue benefits from their membership,' said Mr Selebi. 'As President, I am ready to serve all members of the international police community in every area of crime fighting.'

Welcoming Mr Selebi as the new President, Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said: 'As INTERPOL's first President from Africa, the election of Commissioner Jackie Selebi represents an historic moment. His experience as Commissioner of Police for South Africa will be a great asset to all of INTERPOL's member countries, and I am looking forward to working closely with him.'

The Director of the International Police Co-operation Service of the Italian State Police, Rodolfo Ronconi was elected as Vice-President for the European region. A former Delegate for Europe on the Executive Committee, Mr Ronconi will serve a three year term joining Vice President for the Americas, Michael Garcia, and Vice President for Asia, P. C. Sharma.

For the remaining positions on the Executive Committee, Director General of Investigative Police of Chile, Arturo Herrera Verdugo and Genaro García Luna, Head of Mexico's Federal Agency of Investigation were elected as Delegates for the Americas. Head of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in London, Detective Chief Superintendent Ken Pandolfi of the Metropolitan Police was elected as Delegate for Europe.