Keynote remarks by Jamie Williamson, Executive Director,
International Code of Conduct Association for Private Security Providers
3rd International Forum on Non-Traditional Security (Hangzhou),
21 November 2020
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the signing of the International Code of Conduct for Providers of Private Security.
At the time of signing of the code of conduct, signatory companies made a commitment to operate in accordance with the principles contained in the code.
With the establishment of the international code of conduct Association (ICoCA) in 2013, a mechanism was created to translate this commitment on the part of signatory companies into effective implementation.
Since then, over 100 security companies from the world over, including here in China, have joined the Association and taken the necessary steps to ensure that they are operating in accordance with internationally recognised standards, as contained in the international code of conduct.
Through an integrated process of monitoring, certification, capacity building and complaints, the Association, based in Geneva, Switzerland, has worked with its members and affiliates to drive for more responsible private security providers, complying at all times with the principles contained within the code.
Since the establishment of the Association and the signing of the code there has been substantial progress in raising standards and achieving this objective.
Indeed, through the work of the Association, its members and affiliates, we have witnessed increased level of transparency within the private security industry and, incrementally, seen an improved understanding of how security providers can adapt their procedures, policies and practices to strengthen compliance with code principles and international requirements.
With the multi stakeholder structure of the Association, the past few years have also allowed for a greater level of dialogue and interaction with all key stakeholders involved in the oversight and management of private security companies.
A greater engagement, in particular, between governments, security providers, civil society organisations and clients of private security companies has resulted in a more dynamic and open environment. There are many examples of the positive impact of the Association on the activities of private security companies in a number of complex environments.
We should certainly pause for a few moments to recognise how far we have come since the signing of the code and the establishment of the Association in raising security standards in complex environments.
Yet it would be wrong to rest on these achievements for too long. There is still much to do as we look at the road ahead.
Indeed, as the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated this year, being able to adapt to an ever-changing operating environment cannot be an after-thought but must be at the forefront of our thinking and planning. There will be many more new challenges us, which will need to be taken on with conviction and resilience.
The COVID-19 pandemic has required us all to rethink the security model and the manner in which private security can be delivered in accordance with the principles contained in the code. In particular, the growing reliance on new technologies by security companies and a growth in the footprint of local security providers give rise to a new set of considerations and realities.
As we look ahead therefore to the next 10 years of the international code of conduct, we should see before us a road laden with opportunities and challenges, and many new and enriching experiences. Ensure continued success and achieving of our shared purpose, in line with our common values, will require collective efforts and strengthened cooperation.
I very much look forward to working with all of you as we strive to keep raising security standards globally in line with the international code of conduct .