The United Nations and Security Sector Reform: Policy and Practice

Security sector reform (SSR) is fundamentally a nationally-led process, but many countries draw on support from external actors who offer financial resources, technical expertise, and lessons learned in other contexts. Multilateral organizations and the UN in particular play a vital role in supporting national efforts to make security provision, management and oversight more effective and accountable. SSR was formally added to the agenda of the UN in 2007-2008 and since then there has been a concerted effort to achieve an organization-wide approach to SSR, evolving from a narrow focus on peacekeeping to include broader peacebuilding and development perspectives.

This new DCAF publication goes beyond theory to draw on the practical experiences of UN staff members as well as external security sector reform experts. Together they offer an in-depth exploration of the UN’s approach to security sector reform from a global perspective. Their contributions worthy testimony to the challenges of multilateralism in security sector governance and reform, as well as the many results achieved thus far.