Palestinian Authority committed to strengthening Palestinian police accountability
Ramallah- High-ranking officials from the Palestinian Authority (PA) and international partners opened a four-day workshop entitled Strengthening Palestinian Police Accountability together with the Palestinian Civil Police (PCP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Coordinating Office for Palestinian PoliceSupport (EUPOL COPPS) at the Red Crescent Conference Centre in Ramallah.
On this occasion, the Palestinian Authority also launched a joint PCP, Palestinian Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), Corruption Crime Court (CCC), civil society, UNDP and EUPOL COPPS programme on ‘Strengthening Internal Police Accountability, National Anti-Corruption and Civilian Oversight’ of which this workshop is an activity.
“I call upon our partners and friends to support the security sector and especially on oversight tools”, stated S’aid Abu Ali, Minister of Interior. “Accountability is an undividable part of the security sector. It represents a national requirement that enhances the immunity of the society and achieves justice”, added the Minister.
The workshop will bring together members of the PCP oversight units in particular, with national, regional and international police accountability experts to share best practices on concepts, definitions, and models of police accountability.
“Working to strengthen accountability illustrates not only political maturity, but demonstrates an important commitment on behalf of the Palestinian Authority in the framework for their programme for government”, said Henrik Malmquist, EUPOL COPPS Head of Mission. “I am sure that the lessons learned in the upcoming process of developing and implementing a police accountability strategy will set an example for the entire region” he added. This initiative will also establish the basis for a National Strategy on Civil Police Accountability in line with the Palestinian Authority’s national and international commitments and inspire the PCP through sharing best practices on police accountability systems and mechanisms worldwide.
“Effective and fair policing is a pre-condition for socio-economic development and an integral part of rule of law”, said Yasmine Sherif, UNDP Deputy Special Representative. “UNDP values the efforts to create an effective civilian police institution accountable to its citizens and takes into consideration human security, justice, transparency and human rights” she added.
“What the police does and how it does it must stand scrutiny, a complaints system, then trust will come slowly but surely. I am happy that Sweden will contribute to strengthen police accountability, but also to support the Palestinian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Corruption Crime Court and to strengthen oversight of civil society”, underlined Mr. Axel Wernhoff, Consul-General of Sweden, and a representative of one of the donor countries funding this programme.
Among the other distinguished participants were Mr. Rafeeq Al-Natsheh, Head of the Palestinian Anti-Corruption Commission; Chief Justice, Judge Farid Al-Jallad; and Deputy Chief of Police, Brigadier General Jihad Massimi.
This workshop is part of a USD 3.5 million programme on “Strengthening Internal Police Accountability, National Anti-Corruption and Civilian Oversight” developed in partnership between the PA, Civil Society, UNDP and EUPOL COPPS and funded by the Governments of Denmark and Sweden. The programme, based on rule of law and respect for human rights, aims at strengthening internal police accountability, national anti-corruption efforts and the oversight role of civil society in democratic governance and preparation for statehood.
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