LYON—The international police agency Interpol will issue passports to its staff and national representatives, it announced Tuesday, urging states to allow holders to travel without visas.
So far only two countries — Pakistan and Ukraine — have agreed to waive entry requirements for Interpol officials, but the organization hopes that many more of its 188 members will follow suit.
“That a person is travelling with an Interpol passport for official business should be all the information a country needs in order to grant them access,” said Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble.
“By agreeing to waive visas for Interpol passport holders, member countries will ultimately be assisting themselves,” he adding, arguing that this would allow his staff to respond quickly to crimes and natural disasters.
In addition to officials working directly for Interpol, which is based in the central-eastern French city of Lyon, the national police officers chosen to head individual country offices will also be issued passports.
A statement from the agency said the documents themselves would incorporate state of the art security features which could serve as an example for future versions of national passports.
Founded in 1923, Interpol works to encourage cooperation between national police authorities in the fight against organized crime and terrorism, as well as providing advice and training.