Yesterday (Thursday, 18 April), UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Stefan Feller of Germany as the new United Nations Police Adviser. Stefan Feller will head the UN Police Division within the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. He will be responsible for advising the UN Secretary-General on basic issues regarding the deployment of police officers as part of peacekeeping missions.
Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich welcomed the announcement:
“We congratulate Mr Feller on his appointment as UN Police Adviser.His appointment also reflects Germany’s extensive activities in the field of peacekeeping and civilian crisis prevention.
Our commitment was clearly underscored by the work of the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of the Interior in co-hosting a UN police conference in October 2012. Representatives of over 100 UN member states attended this event.We wish Mr Feller all the best and every success in performing his new responsibilities.”
Stefan Feller comes from North-Rhine Westphalia and has already acquired considerable experience at international level. From 2000 to 2004 he served in the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo, initially as Deputy Police Commissioner and then as Police Commissioner, in charge of the police component. From 2004 to 2008 he was Head of the Police Unit in the Council of the European Union. And from November 2008 until July 2012 he was Head of the European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Under his command, the peace mission was successfully concluded and replaced by an EU development project. He will now be in charge of the UN Police Division in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations at the UN in New York.
Almost 115,000 persons are currently deployed on UN-led peacekeeping missions around the world. Of these some 13,000 are policemen and women.
The UN Police Division provides operational support to the police components in UN peacekeeping missions. The Division, which is part of the UN Secretariat in New York, is also responsible for recruitment and selection, and strategic planning and the further development of police peacekeeping. One specialized unit of the UN Police Division is based in Brindisi, Italy. This is the Standing Police Capacity unit, whose experts are deployed at short notice on UN missions to build institutional police capacity.
The civilian component of peacekeeping operations will become yet more significant in the future. Ever more peacekeeping operations are taking on major state-building tasks and focusing on post-conflict rehabilitation. Police play an important role in these areas. Germany also participates in this work, deploying police officers from the federal and regional police forces, as well as customs officers.