In this presentation, Chris Sharwood-Smith provides an overview of the history of the engagement of UN police in peacekeeping. The rationale behind the formation of the UN Police Division is examined, alongside the structure and activities of the Division and how it may develop in the near future. In so doing, Chris analyses the concept of police peacekeeping from the inception of the UN and provides a clear picture of the significant transformation of police peacekeeping mandates over time. This detailed consideration of the UN Police Division and the changing role of the police in peacekeeping also highlights a number of challenges facing the Division today as well as was in which these challenges can be best addressed. Not least among these is the importance of police peacekeeping mandates remaining sufficiently flexible to be able to respond to the demands of crises as they arise and respond to the requirements of UN Member States.
Chris Sharwood-Smith spent 31 years in the Police Service and has been deployed overseas on stabilisation activities and seconded to the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to work at the UK Mission to the UN on peacekeeping training. Subsequently, Chris became involved in developing Police Peacekeeping training for the UN and represented the UK Government on the Doctrine Development Group as Chair of the Training sub-committee. Since retiring in 2010 Chris has worked with the US State Department and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) on police peacekeeping training and development.