The New York University (NYU) Center on International Cooperation (CIC) works to enhance multilateral responses to global problems, including: conflict, humanitarian crises, and recovery; international security challenges, including weapons proliferation and the changing balance of power; and resource scarcity and climate change. Through innovative applied research and direct engagement with policy actors, CIC has been at the forefront of policy decision-making in each of its core areas of research.
The aim of this issue paper is to provide some ideas regarding how best to create suitable conditions for security sector reform (SSR) in DRC. Throughout the last decade, SSR has become a key component of the international agenda in states affected by conflict. There is a growing consensus amongst donors regarding the necessity of implementing SSR for effective stabilization and reconstruction. Since 2003, this has resulted in DRC in several donor-supported initiatives to strengthen the police, military, and justice sectors. Although some of these efforts may have initially shown must promise, progress on SSR in DRC remains very limited.
Following the signing of the 2003 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) ending the Liberian civil war, there have been revitalized efforts for security sector reform, led principally by the United States and the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). The purpose of this paper is to provide an analysis of (i) the extent and effect of international support for parliamentary oversight of the security sector relative to other reform priorities, and (ii) to assess the potential impact of the reform process on preventing conflict recurrence in Liberia.
Security sector reform (SSR) in weak and fragile state environments encompasses a broad range of efforts to improve the capacity, governance, performance, and sustainability of the security system. Financial dimensions of SSR include the allocation of resources according to well-defined priorities, both across sectors and within the security system, and ensuring that expenditure is transparent, efficient and effective. Issues of financial management were central to the origins of SSR in the 1990s, and they are no less central to security sector reform today. Yet current SSRstrategies and programming all too often pay insufficient attention to public finance issues. As a result, the medium and long-term fiscal implications of short-run policy decisions are not factored into early post-conflict engagement processes. The negative consequences include unsustainable reforms, the squeezing out of other vital sectors, and, conversely, the under-provision of security.
This paper argues for the “right-financing” approach to be adopted for the security sector – striking an appropriate balance between current security needs and the goal of building a fiscally sustainable security sector based on realistic resource projections.
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