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Interview with Ms. Ann-Kristin Kvilekval, the Acting Senior Police Adviser United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)

How long have you worked as a United Nations Police Officer?

This is my third United Nations peacekeeping mission. I started in Lebanon (UNIFIL), then Timor-Leste (UNTAET) and now Afghanistan with UNAMA. Between missions I worked for the United Nations as an instructor both at home in Norway and in different countries around the world through the Norwegian project “Training for Peace”.

Ann-Kristin Kvilekval's portrait.

Ann-Kristin Kvilekval, the Acting Senior Police Adviser, UNAMA.

What were you duties in your national service?

In Norway, I work as a permanent course director and instructor at the Norwegian Police University College, in the department for advanced police training. I am going back to that position as soon as my mission in Afghanistan comes to an end. I have also, since 2003, taken part and been in charge of all Predeployment training for Norwegian police officers who are going to a United Nations mission.

What specialized knowledge have you brought with you to your present posting?

The knowledge I have gained about the United Nations has been helpful, as well as the knowledge from former missions and the experience of working in multi-cultural environments. I was in Afghanistan twice working on a Norwegian police project before I came as a United Nations Police officer. I found it very helpful and a big advantage to have some knowledge of Kabul and to meet Afghan colleagues whom I had already met. My formal training in international law, work with humanitarian law and human rights was excellent for this type of work and practical experience of working with interpreters was very important to help me with my present duties.

As Officer in Charge, Senior Police Adviser in UNAMA what have your responsibilities been?

I am responsible for providing strategic advice on all police-related issues to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, the head of the United Nations in Afghanistan. A lot of my time is spent participating in meetings to gather information in order to prepare guidance on all policing matters for the senior leadership of the United Nations mission in Afghanistan.

I am a permanent member of the International Police Coordination Board (IPCB) which has weekly meetings. For the past four months I have chaired the Senior Police Advisory Group, which is a group of all heads of police contributing nations or organizations working on policing in Afghanistan. This group advises the IPCB in police-related matters and it is a forum where police officers meet to discuss and inform each other of the different projects and challenges being faced around the country.

Last year I was part of the Institutional Reform Working Group, which was set up by the Minister of the Interior. This group met once a week and developed a proposal for the Minister in relation to a reform process in his Ministry. This is a long-term process which the Minister has agreed upon and different working groups are developing additional proposals to further this effort.

I have also participated in different working groups and conferences related to policing issues. At one time we had UN Police officers in the regional offices and I was also responsible to advise and assist them...

Read the rest of the article PDF Document »

Read the entire July 2011 edition of the UN Police magazine PDF Document »