SANTIAGO, Chile – The President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, officially opened the INTERPOL General Assembly which will address current and future organized crime and terrorism threats.
Bringing together some 900 official representatives from 162 countries, including more than 70 police chiefs and ministers, the four-day (15 – 18 October) conference will discuss proposals to advance the Organization’s technical and operational support to police worldwide.
Addressing delegates, President Piñera said, “Crime is changing and constantly evolving. We must step up our fight against crime, a fight which can never be abandoned.
“We are all proud to count on INTERPOL as an organization which unites all countries to fight organized crime and terrorism.”
The benefits of frontline access to INTERPOL’s global databases, as well as on-site support from Incident Response Teams (IRTs), will be highlighted during the conference.
Examples from this year alone include IRT deployments following the terrorist attacks in Kenya and Sri Lanka, and more recently after large drug seizures in Guinea Bissau and the Maldives, which have helped generate significant investigative leads.
INTERPOL President Kim Jong Yang told delegates, “Trust is our most valuable commodity. It is the very soil from which cooperation can grow, so that law enforcement across the world can reap the benefits.
“The world is changing. INTERPOL is evolving. However, our mission and commitment to a safer world remain unchanged, and we will continue to build bridges amongst global law enforcement, and beyond.”
Director General of the Chilean National Police (Policía de Investigaciones – PDI), Héctor Espinosa said, “We are fully aware that international cooperation is not an option, but an imperative, and INTERPOL is therefore a key player in the common good of the entire planet.
“The brainstorming, debates and exchanges of police experience over the coming days will make a significant contribution to a better, and much safer world.”
To address the constantly changing threat landscape, Secretary General Stock said a strong and neutral INTERPOL was more essential than ever.
“INTERPOL’s network is a vital global early warning system to ensure fugitives cannot evade justice.
“Information is the lifeblood of policing and we will continue to work with our member countries to ensure that the right information is in the right hands at the right time. The safety and security of innocent people around the world may depend on this,” said the INTERPOL Chief.
Secretary General Stock pointed to key statistics in demonstrating the increased relevance and use of INTERPOL since 2014:
- 82 million messages exchanged
- 120 per cent increase in hits against INTERPOL databases
- an increase in foreign terrorist fighter profiles from just under 1,000 to some 50,000
- 12,374 victims of child sexual abuse identified.
In addition to setting INTERPOL’s agenda and budget, the General Assembly will also vote on the reappointment of Mr Stock as the head of the Organization for a second and last five-year term.