WPON Presents its Work to the South East Europe Police Chiefs Association

Ms. Sanja Sumonja, Chair of the Women Police Officers Network in South East Europe (WPON), presented the network’s results and activities to the Police Directors at the South East Europe Police Chiefs Association (SEPCA) General Assembly meeting, which was held on 25 and 26 of April 2012 in Becici, Montenegro. WPON is a UNDP/SEESAC project, implemented in close cooperation with SEPCA.

Ms. Sumonja thanked the Police Directors and Police Services for all their support in the development of Guidelines for Gender Sensitive Policing Practice, particularly for providing data on existing practices in recruitment and professional development of women in police, as well as for nominating experts from police services to help develop the Guidelines. This was a unique process in which police services shared invaluable data  and actively cooperated in the development of a document whose aim is to help police services by providing them with practical recommendations on how to advance gender equality in policing practice.

The Guidelines will be finalized in the next couple of weeks, translated into 6 languages and printed. In 2012 support will be provided to police services in the implementation of the Guidelines.

In addition to this, Ms. Sumonja announced that the WPON Workshop on Advocacy for Gender Equality will be held on 8 and 9 May in the Republic of Serbia and WPON’s 3rd Annual Meeting will be held in November 2012.

SEPCA General Assembly meeting marked the 10th Anniversary of SEPCA. The General Assembly meeting focused on institutional matters, projects review and partner cooperation, and was hosted by Dr. Bozidar Vuksanovic, Director of the National Police of Montenegro and SEPCA Chair. The General Assembly was attended by the Director of Administration of Federal Police (BiH), Mr. Dragan Lukac, Director of Police of the Republika Srpska-BiH, Mr. Gojko Vasic; Director of Police of the Republic of Serbia, Mr. Milorad Veljovic; Director of Police of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mr. Ljupco Todorovski, as well as delegations from the Albanian, Bulgarian and Croatian Police.

In addition to SEPCA members, the conference was attended by a delegation from the Italian Police headed by the Chief of Italian Police, Mr. Antonio Manganelli. Representatives of Interpol, Europol, EUCOM, Federal Bureau for Investigation (FBI), Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), Geneva Centre for the Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), MARRI Center, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), UNODC, ICITAP, UNDP/SEESAC, were also present at the conference.

Participants of SEPCA General Assembly reiterated the importance of regional police cooperation in South East Europe and the need for the police services to effectively respond to security needs of individuals in their societies.