The General Assembly is INTERPOL’s supreme governing body, comprising representatives from each of our member countries. It meets once a year and each session lasts around four days.
Each member country may be represented by one or several delegates who are typically chiefs of police and senior ministry officials.
Its purpose is to ensure that INTERPOL’s activities correspond to the needs of our member countries. It does this by determining the principles and measures for the Organization to reach its objectives, and by reviewing and approving the programme of activities and financial policy for the coming year.
In addition, the General Assembly elects the members of the Executive Committee, the governing body which provides guidance and direction in between sessions of the Assembly.
On the agenda each year are also the major crime trends and security threats facing the world.
One country, one vote
The General Assembly takes decisions in the form of Resolutions. Each member country represented has one vote. The decision-making process is made by either a simple or two-thirds majority, depending on the subject matter. These Resolutions are public documents and available from 1960 to the current date.
As the largest global gathering of senior law enforcement officials, the General Assembly also provides an important opportunity for countries to network and share experiences.
Police have been gathering to discuss international policing for more than 100 years – pictured here are delegates at the 2nd session of the General Assembly held in Berlin, Germany in 1924.
Each General Assembly opens with a ceremony where delegates observe a minute’s silence for fallen police officers, and officials make speeches. Pictured here, the 77th session in Saint Petersburg, Russia in 2008.
The General Assembly determines the policies and activities of the Organization, with presentations given to delegates during the session, such as here at the 84th General Assembly in Kigali, Rwanda in 2015.
Innovation in policing was the theme at the 87th General Assembly in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in 2018. Artificial intelligence, robotics and forensics technology were among the issues discussed.
The General Assembly is chaired by the Organization’s President. Pictured here are President Carl G. Persson (left) and Secretary General Jean Népote (right) at the 46th session in Stockholm, Sweden in 1977.
Delegates representing member countries make statements on agenda items before voting takes place, like here at the 57th General Assembly in Bangkok, Thailand in 1988.
Documents such as draft resolutions are translated into our four official languages (Arabic, English, French and Spanish) and distributed to delegates, like here at the 82nd General Assembly in Cartagena, Colombia in 2013.
The General Assembly votes on applications from countries wishing to join the Organization. Here, Timor Leste was admitted as a member at the 71st General Assembly held in Yaoundé, Cameroon in 2002.
The General Assembly is responsible for electing members of the Executive Committee. Here, new Committee members pose for a photo at the 29th session held in Washington, United States in 1960.
Any member country can offer to host a session of the General Assembly, which is then voted on by delegates. In 1997, the 66th session was held in New Delhi, India.
A Ministerial meeting held during the 81st General Assembly in Rome, Italy in 2012 gathered Justice, Home Affairs and Security Ministers from around the globe to shape policy to combat violent crime.
On the sidelines of General Assembly sessions, we host an exhibition for external partners to showcase their work and meet police representatives from around the world. Pictured here is the 2011 exhibition at the 80th session in Hanoi, Vietnam.
At the 86th General Assembly in 2017 in Beijing, China, delegates approved our seven Global Policing Goals which guide the global law enforcement community’s work for a safer world.
Each General Assembly ends with a ceremonial handing over of the INTERPOL flag to the country that will host the following session. Here in 2016, the flag is passed from Indonesia to China.
Resolutions passed by our governing body, the General Assembly