An increased risk of foreign fighters returning home or joining other conflicts following the liberation of territories held by ISIS also known as Da’esh, transforming the global threat landscape saw international security high on the agenda during discussions between the heads of the United Nations (UN) and Interpol.
In their first meeting recently in at UN headquarters in New York, Secretaries General António Guterres and Jürgen Stock addressed areas of common concern where the organisations can streamline and strengthen co-operation for the benefit of member countries.
Areas for enhanced collaboration have been identified in a number of UN resolutions, including protecting critical infrastructure, preventing foreign terrorist fighter travel as well as combating transnational crime such including maritime piracy, human trafficking and drug smuggling.
Additionally, there are currently nearly 600 valid Interpol-UN Special Notices for entities and individuals who are targets of UN Security Council Sanctions Committees.
Stock said the current complex security landscape combined with increased pressure on resources highlighted the value of Interpol’s communications system and databases as a “global early warning system”.
“We are well aware of the threats facing us and for the foreseeable future these threats are increasing rather than diminishing.
“The partnership between Interpol and the UN provides a unified response in supporting law enforcement and maintaining international peace and security,” Stock said.
Among the millions of data items held in Interpol’s global databases accessible to law enforcement across its 192 member countries, are more than 43,000 foreign terrorist profiles.
In 2017, law enforcement officers around the world conducted some 4.5 billion searches against Interpol databases resulting in a million ‘hits’, with each match potentially a key piece in an investigation.
Interpol has a history of co-operation with the UN formalised in a 1997 agreement. The Office of the Special Representative of Interpol to the UN in New York was opened in 2004, further strengthening the relationship.