Major Seynabou Diouf of the Senegal National Police has been selected as the 2019 United Nations Female Police Officer of the Year.
Major Diouf currently leads a task force that helps to prevent and end sexual exploitation and abuse with the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) in Goma (North Kivu). She also leads the UN Police Women’s Network, which connects female officers for mentoring, training, professional development and mutual support.
The United Nations Female Police Officer of the Year award was established in 2011 to recognize exceptional contributions of female police officers to UN peacekeeping and to promote the empowerment of women.
In choosing Major Diouf, the selection committee commended her exemplary service, which has a direct and positive impact on the community and the Congolese national police.
“Through her work to support survivors of sexual violence through the UN Police Women’s Network in MONUSCO, along with her initiatives to strengthen community-oriented policing with the Congolese National Police, Major Diouf embodies the spirit of the award and the core values of the Organization,” said United Nations Police Adviser Luis Carrilho. “She is an inspiration to all of us.”
“It is a deep honor to receive the UN Female Police Officer of the Year award. It means a lot to me. Preventing sexual exploitation and abuse is a priority for me and my team and for my mission. And I believe that our efforts are paying off. For example, not a single allegation has been recorded against MONUSCO police this year. But we can always do more—even one allegation is one too many. We need to continue doing everything we can to ensure that this number remains at zero and victims of abuse receive the support they deserve,” said Major Diouf.
The award will be presented at a ceremony on 5 November at UN Headquarters during the 14th United Nations Police Week, which will see heads of UN police components and police experts from 14 peacekeeping operations, special political missions and regional offices, discussing topics related to performance, strengthening conduct and discipline and sustaining peace through promoting human rights.
Major Diouf was selected out of 30 nominations from eight missions. Her previous UN experience includes deployments with the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), where she addressed misconduct and welfare issues. Her national experience spans 33 years with the Senegal National Police.
Nearly 10,000 UN police are deployed in peace operations, helping to enhance international peace and security by supporting Member-States in conflict, post-conflict and other crisis situations.
Currently, more than 1,400 female police officers serve in United Nations peace operations. The United Nations aims to deploy 30% women among individual police officers and 20% among formed police units by 2028.
Senegal is the largest contributor of police to UN peace operations and is among the top five contributors of female police officers.