Speech by Hassane Haousseize Zouera, Police Commissaire of Niger, 2021 United Nations Population Award

15 July 2021

Excellency, M. Secretary-General of the United Nations;

Excellency, M. Permanent Representative of the Republic of Romania to the United Nations;

Excellency, M. Ambassador of Niger to the United Nations;

Excellency, Ms. First Lady of Niger;

Excellency, M. Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation;

Excellency, M. Minister of Interior and Decentralization;

Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen members of the government;

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen Ambassadors and Representatives of International Organizations accredited in Niger;

Ladies and Gentlemen responsible of the Security and Defense Forces;

Ladies and Gentlemen responsible of NGOs and national actors acting in the area of women and child protection in Niger;

Distinguished guests;

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The population award in the Individual category which Niger has won through my modest person is the fruit of a teamwork of women and men who, nights and days, work tirelessly to watch over the social and security well-being of the population of Niger in general, and of women and children in particular.

The division for the Protection of Minors and Women for which I am responsible is represented at the central level by an office with a staff of 16 police officers, 10 of whom are male, and 6 of whom are female. Our division is represented across the Nigerien territory through 106 brigades for the protection of minors and women. All these structures work together, watching over the respect for human rights, with the main goal to protect women and children.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This award, which I am honored to receive today, is the fruit of a collective effort carried out under the supervision of the Direction for Public Security and the General Direction of the National Police, who guide and monitor the implementation of directives that underpin our action to support and assist women and children. This United Nations award is therefore a recognition of the work accomplished by an entire system. I would herewith like to dedicate this award to the entire body of the National Police, without forgetting the women and children.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Arriving at this distinction is also the fruit of a strategic partnership between the National Police and certain organizations, notably those of the United Nations system, in this case the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which immediately understood that the Police is an indispensible actor in the protection of women and children. In this regard, I would like here to salute the engagement and availability of the Director-General of the National Police, who favorably welcomed UNFPA’s offer and signed a memorandum of understanding between the National Police and this United Nations institution to strengthen our fight against genderbased violence. The signature of this memorandum of understanding was the starting point of a series of interventions contributing to satisfactory results in the prevention and response to gender-based violence and assistance to poor and vulnerable women.

Distinguished guests, 

As you know, one of the responses against gender-based violence is legal and judicial support. This response can only be satisfactory with the full implication of the National Police, which represents the main gateway for survivors of gender-based violence. The quality of the hearings and of the minutes of proceedings by police investigators are indispensable tools that can guide the Magistrate towards rendering a just and equitable verdict, in favor of survivors of such violence. It is with this perspective in mind that since 2019, the capacities of police officers working in the area of women and children’s protection have been reinforced through trainings in the hearing of GBV survivors. Today, the National Police even has a pool of national trainers on the issue of gender-based violence. The next step of this process is the national scaling up of this training through a module that is conceived and taught at the National School of Police and life-long learning.

In the area of data collection on gender-based violence, it is important to underline that in 2020, the National Police, through field missions and with the support of UNFPA, has collected 3147 cases of GBV across the territory of Niger. Moreover, from January to April 2021, 2519 cases of GBV were registered by the 106 Protection Brigades of the National Police.

Given the importance of data and data processing within the strategy to combat GBV which my unit put in place, a data collection form. Once deployed, this computerized tool allows the National Police to access available data on GBV in real time.

As you can see, the National Police, through the DPMF, has made a qualitative leap in the fight against GBV in Niger. This fight against GBV in Niger enabled us to provide technical and financial assistance, but  also to network all stakeholders intervening in this fight, starting with the traditional leaders and health systems, in order to guarantee a holistic provision of care for survivors of GBV.

As I mentioned in the beginning of my statement, this award, which honors Niger, will further reinforce the trust between the people of Niger and its National Police, whose main mission is the protection of people and their goods.

Honorable guests, before this audience whose echoes will surely reach all corners of the world, allow me to make a plea to attract the attention of all actors in the chain of Protection of Women and Minors with the multifaceted support of donors, to work with perseverance to finally put an end to these deploring and devastating situations for women.

My plea is also directed towards the State, partners and donors to provide the persons working in the area of minors and women’s protection with adequate working conditions, given the sensitivity, sacrifice and dedication that such a mission requires.

Let me conclude by paying a vibrant tribute to the highest authorities of the seventh Republic, and in first place to the President of the Republic, His Excellency Bazoum Mohamed, who is the first guarantor of the Nigerien population’s well-being, in particular regarding the protection of vulnerable persons, such as women and children.

May God bless Niger and its People,

Long live Niger,

Long live international cooperation,

I thank you.

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