The 3rd Annual Meeting of WPON
Participants of the WPON Annual Meeting held in Sofia
(From the left) Vesselka Philipova from the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior; Mr. Zlatko Miletic, Executive Director of SEPCA; Ms. Sanja Sumonja, WPON Executive Committee Chair;
At the Annual Meeting, the current executive committee (on the left) transferred the leadership responsibility to the newly elected committee members (on the right).
The New Executive Committee (from left to right) Ms. Iva Balgač (MoI, Republic of Croatia) as Chair; Ms. Enkeleda Toska (Albanian State Police ) as Chair Elect; and Ms. Tatiana Turcan (MoI, Republic of Moldova) as Deputy Chair.
Women police officers, representing 9 police services from South East Europe, took part in the 3rd Annual Meeting of the Women Police Officers Network in South East Europe which was held in Sofia on November 12-13, 2012. The meeting was organized with the support of UNDP/SEESAC and the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Bulgaria.
The agenda of the 3rd Annual Meeting included the review of the implementation of the WPON Annual Work Plan for 2012, the planning of WPON activities for 2013, the election of a new Executive Committee and the exchange of information regarding the activities implemented by police services in advancing gender equality during the past year.
Participants agreed that since its establishment WPON has grown into a strong regional platform for information exchange and an advocacy mechanism for gender equality in policing. It was unanimously agreed that the development of the Guidelines for Gender Sensitive Policing with a Particular Focus on Recruitment, Selection and Professional Development of Police Women was a groundbreaking endeavor which helped identify existing best practices while at the same time proposing a set of simple and low cost measures which will help police services attract and retain more qualified women.
The meeting was also an opportunity to exchange information on the progress in advancing gender equality in police services in SEE, a number of which have already started with the implementation of the recommendations from the Guidelines through awareness raising activities, capacity development and advocacy for gender equality in policing. Representatives of the police services of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Federation, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Republika Srpska, Bulgaria, Croatia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia presented activities and results achieved in advancing gender equality in police services during the past year.
As a next step in WPON’s development, the WPON Council agreed on a workplan for 2013, with two distinct components, a regional one and national ones based on the priorities of the members and the recommendations from the Guidelines.
Finally, the meeting was concluded with the election of the WPON Executive Committee for 2013 with Ms. Iva Balgač (Ministry of Interior of Republic of Croatia) as Chair; Ms. Tatiana Turcan (Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Moldova) as Deputy Chair; and Ms. Enkeleda Toska (Albanian State Police ) as Chair Elect. The Executive Committee will provide the overall guidance in the implementation of WPON activities and will work towards the advancement of WPON vision and mission.
The Women Police Officers Network in South Eastern Europe is a UNDP/SEESAC supported project, which aims to provide a platform for the exchange of experience and knowledge across police services in the region on the status, needs and priorities of police women in South East Europe; facilitate the advancement of the position of women in police services and gender sensitive policing practices in the region; and advocate for the implementation of gender equality and democratic principles in policing. The project is generously funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UNDP.