The rule of law is not simply about words written on paper. The culture of a society and the character of the people who enforce the law determine whether the rule of law endures.
Since we met last year in Beijing, the news media has reported several prominent challenges to the rule of law, including the lawless attacks on Sergei and Yulia Skirpal and Jamal Khashoggi. Last month, international attention focused on INTERPOL, as a result of the disappearance of President Meng Hongwei. Such events give rise to questions about whether our member countries abide by shared principles. In evaluating our actions at this General Assembly, observers may ask whether our votes reflect the values that we profess. We must stand for the rule of law.
INTERPOL exists to promote international police coordination and discourage departures from the law. We represent diverse forms of government. But if we serve with integrity, each of us functions as a trustee for our fellow citizens.
When our successors look back on how we dealt with the issues of our era, they will ask whether we honored our fiduciary duties.
First, did we develop the knowledge to understand our challenges?
Second, did we inculcate the wisdom to solve them?
Third, did we demonstrate the courage to defend our principles?
Fourth, did we maintain the resolve to achieve our goals?
I traveled here to speak about INTERPOL’s role in responding to the major innovation of our lives: the rise of a cyber-connected world.
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