Spotlight Interview

In August, The RTC was pleased to host a Formed Police Unit (FPU) Performance Workshop, led by the United Nations. Mr. Ata, from the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations led various sessions and chatted with us on his law enforcement career. Enjoy the read!!

  1. Please introduce yourself to include information on your Law Enforcement Career:

I have been serving as Chief of Police Selection and Recruitment Section at the United Nations’ Department of Peacekeeping Operations/Police Division since June 2015. Before this assignment, I was appointed as Senior Police Adviser at the Peacekeeping Strategic Partnership at the United Nations’ Department of Peacekeeping Operations for one and a half years. My role included assisting in strengthening the peacekeeping partnership by working closely with troop - and police-contributing countries and UN senior leadership, both in the field and at Headquarters. I have extensive experience overseeing the management of peacekeeping operations including over 12,000 internationalpolice personnel.

  1. What were you hoping to achieve in organizing the FPU Performance Workshop?

FPUs represent two-thirds of all police officers serving in UN peace operations. They perform a unique role and provide specific capacities that are critical to the success of UN peacekeeping operations. However, significant challenges—including unit cohesion, inadequate training, lack of essential skills, particularly at the command levels and staff welfare—have kept them from realizing their full potential. As you know, an evaluation of FPUs was conducted in 2017. The report from the evaluation included 22 recommendations focusing on formation, training, pre-deployment assessment, performance, gender and management. To address some of the immediate issues, the Performance and Evaluation Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) was developed in May 2019 to ensure the performance of FPUs operating in peace operations maintain the required standard or above. The completion of the SOPs is just the beginning of a new phase in our efforts to improve performance and do our part to fulfill the commitments outlined in the Action for Peacekeeping initiative. This Workshop is intended to bring all practitioners from field missions as well as the Police Commissioners who are managing FPUs to enhance the performance of the units and address any gaps.

  1. Having been to the RTC for 2 workshops – one in 2017 and 2019, what are your major takeaways on the organization and support you received for the workshop?

The RTC has provided outstanding support and an excellent forum for discussion. The location and the atmosphere was very convenient. The RTC staff were very supportive in facilitating smooth administrative and logistical arrangements.

  1. Moving forward, how do you think the strategic partnership can further help advance the goals of the FPU’s in UN Missions?

We will need to continue to rely on partnership of RTC and others. The expertise, organization, travel and other arrangement could not be done by UN on its own. Joint efforts are the key to success of implementation of policy and procedures, which are key in enhancing performance of peacekeepers to deliver given mandates. Partners would need to share the burden. For example; training is a critical piece in all our work before deployment and after deployment of UN peacekeepers. Emerging police contributors will require assistance to prepare their officers for UN operations. UN also needs partnership support during in-mission training

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