Liberia national dialogue on security sector reform, Monrovia, Liberia, 3–4 August 2005

In addition to historical contradictions and inadequacies, implementation of the 2003 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) has further exposed the need to address critical issues in Liberia’s security sector, in order to consolidate the gains of post-conflict reconstruction and to pave the way towards good governance. In view of the role played by ill-governed security institutions in the Liberian civil war, the success and sustainability of rebuilding Liberia will to a large extent depend on the extent to which the security sector is reformed to operate more efficiently and within a framework of effective democratic control. Within this context, a dialogue on SSR would help broaden the constituency of actors working to develop a collective vision of security in Liberia. Moreover, such a dialogue would facilitate the inclusion of debates around the security sector prior to elections, so as to sustain interest on the issue in a post-election reform agenda. Significantly, a dialogue on SSR would serve as a crucial step in bringing voice and accountability into the process of creating an inclusive, locally driven SSR process in Liberia.

Against this background, the Ministry of Justice of Liberia and the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) convened a National Dialogue on Security Sector Reform, which was held in Monrovia 3-4 August 2005. The event was jointly facilitated and funded by the Conflict Security and Development Group (CSDG) of King’s College, University of London; the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Lagos, Nigeria; and the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), Switzerland. The dialogue served as an avenue toward a structured but informal conversation on SSR among relevant stakeholders, including
the United Nations, the transitional legislature, the judiciary, civil society, relevant ministries, civil society, and organizations responsible for implementing reform.

The dialogue was guided by, and sought to provide answers to, the following interrelated
questions:

1. What kind of security (and security sector) does Liberia have?
2. What kind of security (and security sector) do Liberians want?
3. What are the necessary key steps for achieving the desired security?
4. Who are the critical actors for attaining such security?
5. How can a locally driven, inclusive and accountable security sector reform process be
achieved?

Source: Source found in: Security Sector Reform: Integrated Technical Guidance Notes, United Nations SSR Task Force, 2012. pg 20.

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