Terrorism and Crime Top Interpol Agenda | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 21.09.2005
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Terrorism and Crime Top Interpol Agenda

Terrorism, drug and human trafficking and financial crime are on the agenda for the annual Interpol meeting which runs until Thursday in Berlin. The group also wants to create a global database of missing persons.


Top level law enforcers are meeting in Berlin

The 74th general assembly meeting of the international police, based in Lyon, southeastern France, has brought together 600 senior police from 155 countries, according to German police, who are organizing the event.

National representatives will be informed on the progress of an international genetic data base and another database dealing with child abuse on the Internet.

The cooperation between Interpol and the United Nations will also be a subject for discussion following, in particular, the work between the two organisations over the UN investigation into the murder of Lebanon's former prime minister, Rafiq Hariri, killed on February 14 in Beirut.

Global ID system

The organization plans on creating a global database of missing people to help identify victims of disasters like the Asian tsunami or Hurricane Katrina in the US more quickly. Interpol chief Ronald Noble said the database could help eliminated duplication as countries scramble in the wake of major disasters.

Interpol-Kongress in Berlin

"We've got to build one system, where one family member can go to one place in one country, give the information one time and it goes into all the relevant systems," he told reporters at the meeting.

"Were that (database) in place before the tsunami, I think we would have been able to identify people much more quickly than we have been and bring comfort to those family members who want to know whether their loved ones' remains have been found," he added.

The database, a German proposal, is set to get the green light this week. German federal police chief Jörg Ziercke said a priority was to standardize very detailed sets of data -- about 800 to 900 pieces of information -- that police require to trace missing people.

"We need to make the procedure more uniform," he said.

Secretary-General re-elected

Interpol Secretary-General Noble was unanimously re-elected for a second five-year term on Tuesday, the organization said in Berlin.

Interpol said US-born Noble, a lawyer by training, was elected by the largest majority in the organisation's history during its 74th general assembly.

The organisation said he had overseen key internal changes since first taking up the post in 2000, including setting up a command centre "open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide immediate support to police around the world."

Noble was praised by Interpol President Jackie Selebi as a "tireless worker, a leader and a visionary."

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