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31 January 2013 - Media release

Strong cooperation between INTERPOL and France focus of visit by Interior Minister Valls

Pivotal French law enforcement role lauded by INTERPOL leaders

LYON, France – National and international security issues topped the agenda for France’s Minister of the Interior Manuel Valls’s first visit to the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon.

The meeting with INTERPOL President Mireille Ballestrazzi, Secretary General Ronald K. Noble and other senior INTERPOL officials provided an overview of the world police organization’s cooperation with France and of its activities across its 190 member countries.

During his visit, Minister Valls affirmed that in the face of organized crime, which knows no borders, and the escalation of the global threat posed by terrorism, cooperation between police services across all continents was more important than ever. He praised the expertise of INTERPOL officers and recognized their role in reinforcing security both in France and around the world.

With the visit underlining the close relationship between France and INTERPOL whose world headquarters were established in the country in 1946, first in Paris and since 1989 in Lyon, President Ballestrazzi said: “Our modern societies, which are facing new challenges, must tackle that of transnational crime, which has benefited from all the effects of globalization.

“The necessary response by States must be accompanied and facilitated by INTERPOL, the leading international police cooperation organization, whose activities France has always supported and will continue to do so with great determination,” added Mireille Ballestrazzi who is also Deputy Central Director of the French Judicial Police.

France’s Interior Minister was briefed by President Ballestrazzi and Secretary General Noble on new initiatives to assist member countries combat crime areas such as drug trafficking and terrorism, and emerging threats such as cybercrime. In this respect, talks between Minister Valls and the Head of INTERPOL took in preparations for an inaugural international forum on the use of technologies against crime which will be held in Lyon in July this year.

At the initiative of the French Interior Ministry and INTERPOL, the Technology Against Crime forum will bring together ministers from all corners of the globe, as well as security and police professionals, scientists, technology experts and representatives from universities and research centres, to look at how technology can best be used to combat crime in the 21st century.

“Over and over again France has proved itself to be one of INTERPOL’s most innovative and constructive partners and our joint Technology Against Crime forum will provide another platform to identify where we provide added value and support to other national law enforcement efforts,” said Secretary General Noble.

“The visit to INTERPOL by Mr Valls was an opportunity to forge an ever-closer relationship, bound not just by history but by our common resolve to achieve a safer world in the 21st century through our ongoing cooperation,” concluded the INTERPOL Chief.

With France among the 56 countries which to date have formally recognized the INTERPOL travel document, the visit by Mr Valls also addressed efforts by the world police body to encourage all member countries to formally endorse the INTERPOL travel document initiative.

Statement by French Interior Minister Manuel Valls on his visit to INTERPOL

Visite du Ministre de I'Intérieur français, M Manuel Valls au siège d'INTERPOL