United Nations

UN Police


2000 - the Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations recommended a revolving on-call list (some 100 police officers) and related experts be created, to be available on 7 days’ notice to start-up police component of a new peacekeeping operation, train personnel and give the component greater coherence at an early date.

December 2004 - the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change recommended the creation of “a small corps of senior police officers and managers (50-100 personnel) who could undertake mission assessments and organize the start-up of police components of peace operations” (A/59/565, paragraph 223).

October 2005 - the General Assembly, in its resolution on the World Summit Outcome endorsed “the creation of an initial operating capability for a standing police capacity” (A/RES/60/1, paragraph 92).

March 2006 - the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations welcomed “the creation of an initial operating capability for the Standing Police Capacity to provide a coherent, effective and responsive start-up capacity for the police component of the United Nations peacekeeping operations and to assist existing operations through the provision of advice and expertise.” (A/60/19, paragraph 99)

June 2006 - the General Assembly approved proposed staffing for Standing Police Capacity (A/RES/60/268) with its base in New York. The Standing Police Capacity’s relocation from United Nations Headquarters to UNLB Brindisi, Italy was endorsed by the Fifth Committee in July 2009 and completed in January 2010.

November 2014 - the United Nations Security Council, adopted Resolution 2185 that “resolves to include as appropriate, policing as an integral part of the mandates of United Nations peacekeeping operations and special political missions”. The resolution also “welcomes the work of the United Nations Standing Police Capacity in providing expertise across the broad range of policing activities and providing a rapid, coherent, effective and responsible start-up capability for the Police Components of United Nations peacekeeping operations and special political missions, and assisting existing missions through the provision of advice, expertise, base-line assessments and evaluation”.

June 2015 - the OIOS finalized an evaluation report on the SPC, recommending continuous review of SPC specialties in order to keep in line with emerging demands in the field, centralized funding to support SPC core functions, evaluation of the location of the SPC, and setting a target for SPC deployments (OIOS IED-14-012).

Standing Police Capacity

The SPC assists in the fulfillment of the strategic mission of the UN Police by providing rapidly deployable, effective, and coherent policing expertise to UN peace operations, post conflict and other crisis situations.

Chief, SPC, being greeted by a Police Officer.

Chief, SPC, Maria Appelblom, (on right) is greeted by a Police Officer in Bangui, Central African Republic. Standing in the middle is MINUSCA Police Commissioner, Luis Carrilho.

The SPC provides 40 officers with specialist knowledge and experience, including police reform and restructuring, public order, transnational organized crime, community oriented policing, legal affairs, analysis, training, planning, logistics, budget and funds management, human resources, information and communication technology, investigations and gender advisory services. When deployed, SPC staff can serve in multi-hatted functions to:

  • Provide start-up capability for new police components of UN peace operations.
  • Assist existing UN peace operations through the provision of police and other law enforcement advice and expertise, including in preparation for transition and drawdown.
  • The SPC may also conduct operational assessments and evaluations of UN police components as well as other relevant mandated duties as approved by the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations.
SPC staff with African Union colleagues.

SPC staff deployed to UNAMID with colleagues from the African Union.

In addition to its primary functions, the SPC may also be requested to provide expertise as part of the Global Focal Point for Police, Justice and Corrections in the Rule of Law in Post-Conflict and Other Crisis Situations. SPC also receives requests for assistance from intergovernmental and regional organizations, along with Member States that do not have UN missions. Further, SPC may provide training support to Member States or regional organizations and conduct specialized training courses for UN Police officers serving in the field. 

In carrying out its tasks, SPC supports the implementation of today’s often complex policing-related tasks in the broader rule of law and security sector reform context:  integrating human rights into law enforcement; enhancing protection of civilians; preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based violence; promoting the role of women in peace and security; and building effective, efficient, representative, responsive police institutions.

SPC Public Order Advisor conducting evaluation.

SPC Public Order Advisor, conducting an evaluation of potential trainers among AU personnel in June 2014, before they were re-hatted as FPU personnel of MINUSCA.

In Mali, the SPC helped establish the transnational organized crime unit to support Malian security forces in preventing and addressing associated threats. As Police Commissioner for UNSOM (Officer in Charge), SPC contributed to consultations that led to the establishment of the first federal police framework in Somalia. In South Sudan, SPC assisted the police component to develop political, physical and programmatic approaches to Gender and Child Protection.

Further, the SPC has provided assistance to established peacekeeping and special political missions, and UN agencies (UNDP, OHCHR, UNODC) in delivering mandated tasks and in delivering developmental assistance to host-country law enforcement and security services.  

Additionally, SPC provides training assistance through partnership arrangements with the Centre of Excellence for Stability Police Units (CoESPU) in Italy, the African Union and other partners.

More information


  • Read the 2015 Annual Report of the Standing Police Capacity
  • Watch the video interview of the Chief of the Standing Police Capacity at the United Nations Chiefs of Police Summit (UNCOPS).
  • Listen to a radio interview with the Chief of the Standing Police Capacity, Ms. Maria Appelblom.
  • Read the newsletter of the Standing Police Capacity.

(The infographic below highlights key activities and areas of expertise of the SPC. Click to open as a larger PDF file.)

Police capacity graphic.