MINSK, Belarus – INTERPOL’s European regional conference in Belarus closed today with delegates unanimously agreeing to hold a second, extraordinary session next month to show solidarity with member countries who were prevented from participating.
All 46 of INTERPOL’s European National Central Bureaus will now meet on 7 June at the General Secretariat in Lyon, France to discuss operational policing issues and seek the endorsement of recommendations from the conference by all countries in the region, underlining INTERPOL’s continued commitment to ensuring the widest possible exchange of ideas.
Only 12 countries took part in the Minsk conference on 17-18 May after the European Union applied political pressure on EU member countries to not attend.
Issues and recommendations from the conference that will now be considered by a wider European meeting include;
- Helping countries secure their borders by extending INTERPOL’s services to border control points
- Enhancing regional and international co-operation in fugitive investigations among INTERPOL’s National Central Bureaus
- The possibility of INTERPOL opening the world’s first anti-corruption academy in Austria.
The meeting in Lyon is also aimed at ensuring that member countries recognise the risk to both themselves and their citizens if INTERPOL does not remain an independent and politically neutral police organization.
INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble welcomed the decision to hold an extraordinary meeting as a clear demonstration of the political neutrality of INTERPOL and its ability to adapt and re-unite its member countries following any controversy which may threaten to divide them.
'Police services in all 184 member countries know that when INTERPOL calls for help or seeks information, the goal is to help one or all of our member countries to prevent, investigate or prosecute a serious crime and not to advance the political agenda of any one country or group of countries,' said Mr Noble.
'If that confidence is lost, fewer countries’ police services will share information through INTERPOL and therefore the safety and security of citizens around the world will be put at risk.
'There are lessons to be learned from this episode in our history which I know will enable us to become stronger and more united than ever before. As the world’s largest international police organization we have a duty to our member countries and the people they protect not to be distracted or diverted from our mission.'