UNITED NATIONS OFFICE ON DRUGS AND CRIME
To help curb excessive use of force by law enforcement, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in April 2017 hosted a regional workshop in Abu Dhabi organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Over three days, participants in the workshop, “Conduct of Law Enforcement Officials in Maintaining Order and Responding to Crime in the Middle East and North African (MENA) Countries,” were encouraged to adopt a human rights-based approach to law enforcement.
Experts from UNODC, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Swedish Police Authority led sessions on the legal and regulatory framework regarding the use of force and firearms and on the usefulness of various instruments of force in settings like public assemblies.
“This workshop provides us with a very good opportunity to share and exchange views between the U.N. and the participating experts from the Arab nations,” said Hatem Aly, head of UNODC’s Gulf Cooperation Council office. Discussions focused on the best ways to implement U.N. standards for criminal justice and human rights, he said.
The workshop produced a new training curriculum for police academies and recommendations for strengthening accountability and oversight of law enforcement agencies and enhancing dialogue between law enforcement and the public.
In hosting the event, the UAE partnered with officials from Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and Libya. Holding the event in the UAE “embodied” the nation’s vision to be among the safest countries in the world, said Maj. Gen. Khalifa Hareb al-Khaili, assistant undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Interior for Resources and Support Services.