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Helsinki Commission Briefing Reviews Police Reform Efforts in Central Asia, the Caucasus and Southeastern Europe

Washington – The United States Helsinki Commission will hold a public briefing concerning police reform efforts in several countries, particularly in Central Asia, the Caucasus and Southeastern Europe. The briefing will feature Richard Monk, the Senior Police Adviser of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

OSCE Police-Related Activities
Monday, October 27, 2003
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
485 Russell Senate Office Building

Police forces play a critical role in society. Utilized in accordance with the rule of law, police provide the stability needed to endure crises, to develop democratic institutions, to prevent the outbreak of conflict and, in some countries, to recover from conflict. Police also stand on the front lines of efforts to combat terrorism. Countries facing major problems–including poverty, organized crime and trafficking in weapons, drugs and human beings–need particularly effective and professional law enforcement agencies. National police forces in many countries, however, suffer from inadequate training and resources to tackle serious criminal activity.

Since the 1990s, the OSCE has helped monitor and train police officers, with notable success in Kosovo, southern Serbia and elsewhere in Southeastern Europe. The OSCE’s Strategic Police Matters Unit, headed by Richard Monk, is now shifting its focus to Central Asia and the Caucasus, initiating in the summer of 2003 police reform projects in Kyrgyzstan and Armenia with prospects for activity elsewhere in the region.

Those implementing reforms face the challenge of introducing concepts like community policing, interviewing/interrogation techniques and crime analysis in countries where police have traditionally been used to repress society and violate human rights, making them part of corrupt and undemocratic political systems. Mr. Monk will address these projects and the challenges police reformers face in various OSCE states.

Richard Monk has been the OSCE Senior Police Adviser since February 2002, overseeing the Secretariat’s Strategic Police Matters Unit. Formerly a police officer with 35 years of service in the United Kingdom, from March 1998 to March 1999 he was Commissioner of the United Nations International Police Task Force (IPTF), responsible for monitoring and helping to reform police forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Prior to his appointment as Senior Police Adviser, Mr. Monk provided expertise to the UK Government, the United Nations, the OSCE and others on international policing matters, peace operations and security issues.

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