2022 has been a memorable year for the police community. From arrests of some of the world’s most wanted criminals, to busts of international crime gangs, to advances in robotics and biometrics, this year has ushered in the modern era of policing. 2022 also marked my first year as President of INTERPOL, an honor that I take with the utmost seriousness.

Since being elected as President just over a year ago, I have focused on advancing a more modern, diverse, and transparent organization, one that drives operations further than ever before. I am proud of what we have achieved over the course of the past 12 months, thanks to the work of the General Assembly, the Executive Committee, and the Secretary General; and of course, the support of INTERPOL’s 195 member states and strategic partners. Our achievements include the increased use of technology for more efficient operations, ongoing improvements to governance, and advancing our commitments to diversity.

Cutting-edge technology to futureproof INTERPOL

Tech-savvy criminals are no longer bound by borders. INTERPOL’s digitization and innovation efforts are locking in our ability to address a range of crimes, spanning jurisdictions.

The newly introduced INTERPOL Mobile Device (IMD) brings the organization into the future by ensuring that frontline officers have access to INTERPOL’s 19 databases from anywhere, enabling nimble investigations and live database checks quicker than ever before. The IMD is still in beta mode but holds much promise as it rolls out across the world.

Additionally, INTERPOL recently launched the first global police metaverse to better equip police officers with the skills required to protect communities online as the boundaries of our physical world blend with the digital space. The INTERPOL Metaverse enables police officers to interact with each other, as well as take immersive training courses in forensic investigation and other policing capabilities. Furthermore, through our Metaverse Expert Group—announced at the INTERPOL General Assembly in October 2022—we aim to collectively combat the misuse of the internet while harnessing its responsible use for a safer world.

Better equipping INTERPOL through diversity

INTERPOL must be as diverse as its member countries, allowing representation for nations both big and small. Cultivating diversity across the organization helps to improve and develop our capabilities, ensure posts are distributed equitably among seconded officers and those at the General Secretariat, and ultimately, enrich our services for member countries.

INTERPOL’s commitment to increasing diversity across the organization is epitomized through Resolution No. 14 passed at the 90th General Assembly this year. The resolution stipulates that the General Secretariat will seek candidates from under and unrepresented countries. Currently, the Secretariat has 1,000 staff members from 115 countries, meaning that one-third of INTERPOL’s member countries are not yet represented—we’ve made great progress, but there is still more work to do.

Increasing transparency at INTERPOL

With an Executive Committee comprised of 13 members from across the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas, we are proud of our balanced geographic distribution, ensuring representation of member states across the world.

Over the past year, I have been working with the Executive Committee to strengthen processes for decision-making and the measurement of their effectiveness. In the background, INTERPOL’s Governance Working Group is continuing to monitor the accountability and transparency of the organization comprehensively, which must always stay at the top of our agendas.

What’s on the horizon for 2023

Upon being elected President of INTERPOL last year, I pledged to do my part to help evolve INTERPOL to keep up with the most pressing criminal challenges we face today by advancing the organization’s technological capabilities. This is not a time for reactivity: we must act to transform INTERPOL into the digital-first, technologically advanced organization that police forces need.

As we approach INTERPOL’s centenary in 2023, we must examine how we can better support all 195 member states to tackle the evolving criminal landscape. After 100 years, INTERPOL stands strong today, and I look forward to working with partners across INTERPOL and beyond to fortify the organization for 100 more.

Learn more about my role at INTERPOL here.