UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Security Council has unanimously approved its first resolution on the increasing importance of U.N. police in countries emerging from conflict.

The resolution urges countries to keep contributing skilled and experienced police for increasingly complex missions that can involve protecting civilians as well as training and professionalizing local forces and engaging in broader security sector reforms.

U.N. Police Adviser Stefan Feller noted that the first U.N. police were deployed in Congo in 1960 and called the resolution an important recognition of the 12,532 police from 91 countries currently working in 13 peacekeeping missions and four political missions.

Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who presided over Thursday's meeting, said there has been a massive increase in the number of international police from around 1,600 just 20 years ago.