BENIDORM, Spain - INTERPOL's annual General Assembly ended with delegates endorsing a number of important resolutions aimed at improving efficiency and cooperation among the world's police as they combat international crime.
Among the measures agreed upon during the four-day meeting of INTERPOL member nations in Benidorm:
- a strict Security Charter to ensure the integrity and safety of the organization's new I-24/7 police communication system. Countries which have not yet connected to this state-of-the-art encrypted system were encouraged to do so as a matter of priority
- a call for increased use of INTERPOL's array of databases (stolen motor vehicles, stolen travel documents, fingerprints, DNA, wanted notices, drug seizures, etc) and for more data to be provided by member countries for use in these databases
- new rules on the processing of police information, to allow easier connection of INTERPOL databases with those in member countries. This would also allow, under certain conditions, for police in one member country to connect via INTERPOL to the law enforcement databases of another member country
- creation of an incident response team to advise senior INTERPOL officers on the appropriate reaction to crisis situations, such as terrorist attacks
- a programme-based approach which will focus and commit INTERPOL resources to operational projects in order to meet specific needs of police in member countries
- formal cooperation agreements with the European Central Bank on euro counterfeiting and the Special Court for Sierra Leone on law enforcement assistance
- a 12.4 per cent increase to member states' contributions for 2004. INTERPOL's budget for next year is 36.9 million euros including a capital investment programme.
'This General Assembly and the measures adopted demonstrate the priorities that INTERPOL must pursue,' said Secretary General Ronald K. Noble. 'We must build the right databases and make these databases readily accessible to police. We must have our new global communication system in place and operational in every one of our countries.
'And we must have programs, projects and policies in place that build on the real-life cases confronting our member countries and help police investigate, prevent and prosecute trans-border crime.'
INTERPOL's 72nd annual General Assembly was the organization's largest-ever gathering of high-ranking police officers, law enforcement officials and security experts. INTERPOL is the world's largest international police organization and was founded in 1923 to help police around the globe fight trans-border crime.