PBC High-Level Meeting on Liberia - Presentation on the Lessons identified from UNMIL support to rule of law and security sector reform
The Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) proposes to convene a meeting of the Liberia Configuration to:
- launch and present the new five-year National Development Plan of the Government of Liberia, the Pro Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.
- provide Member-States with the opportunity to consider the lessons identified from United Nations Mission in Liberia support to the rule of law and the security sector reform, and its impact on the country’s sustainable peace and development.
The first part of the meeting will be dedicated to present and discuss the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (2018 to 2023). The presentation will be facilitated by representatives Government of Liberia and the United Nations Country Team.Participants will be invited to discuss how Member-States and partners of Liberia can combine efforts in support of the implementation of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.
The second part of the meeting will focus on presenting to Member-States the key findings of the report Lessons identified from UNMIL support to Rule of Law in Liberia. The presentation will be conducted by the Director of DCAF, and the debate facilitated by the previous UNMIL DSRSG Waldemar Very and the PBC Chair.
On the UNMIL lessons’ presentation the aim is to:
- Highlight UNMIL ROL/SSR contribution to peacebuilding, demonstrating why multidimensional peacekeeping operations should be mandated by the Security Council and resourced by UNGA to support nationally-led ROL/SSR processes in the framework of the SG’s Agenda for Peacekeeping Initiative and the Declaration of Shared Commitments.
To fulfil the above the main goals are to:
- Provide an overview of key lessons identified in UNMIL support to rule of law and SSR in Liberia and their impact in the country’s political stability and sustainable peace. This includes:
(i) the establishment of a foundational legal/institutional framework of ROL
(ii) contribution to sustaining the political settlement (including the elections) and
(iii) how ROL/SSR interventions have been mainstreamed in the national sustainable peace/development architecture (Agenda for Transformation, Peacebuilding Plan and NDP).
- Highlight lessons that demonstrate the importance of linking political and rule of law/SSR process (examples such as the role of justice in supporting the Liberia courts to mitigate instabilities during the election, the role of SSR in coordinating the security transition and ensuring that the armed forced remained neutral during the elections, the role of UNMIL in the overall election’s security, etc.)
- Present suggested recommendations from the PBC to the Security Council on (i) sequencing transition of peace operations, and (ii) planning and managing the mandate of peace operations (on ROL/SSR areas) across conflict spectrum.
The Swedish National Police (SNP) has requested ISSAT support to conduct a mid-term evaluation for its Police Cooperation project in Liberia. The project has been implemented by the SNP since 2016 and is expected to end in 2019. Previously the Swedish National Police supported the LNP in the area of crime scene investigations through a bilateral program 2009-2015. The project purpose is to achieve improved quality of crime investigations including Sexual Gender Basedc Violence (SGBV), basic crime investigation, basic crime scene investigation and cooperation between the LNP and the Prosecution Service in three police station areas. The project components focus on addressing important challenges and needs as formulated by the Liberian police and prosecutors who attended the workshop:
- Training in basic crime investigations, basic crime scene investigations and investigations of SGBV crimes.
- Guidelines to optimize the quality control of any crime investigation case forwarded to the Prosecution Service.
- Basic forensic equipment.
- Improved premises and facilities for one stop centres and comfort rooms for SGBV victims .
- Improved cooperation between police and prosecutors.
- Public awareness raising.
UNMIL requested ISSAT’s support in taking stock of almost 15 years of deployment in Liberia. This exercise aimed to identify lessons, best practices and areas of innovation from the key outcomes of the support provided by UNMIL’s Rule of Law Pillar – with a focus on :
- service delivery at both central and county level ;
- citizen security and justice ;
- efficiency, integrity and public trust ;
- local ownership and sustainability
The lesson-learning exercise focused on four key areas:
(i) capacity building of state institutions (mentoring, training, and human resources);
(ii) management and regulatory frameworks (law and policy reform, strategic direction, leadership, planning, and various elements of institution building);
(iii) accountability (support to internal, state, and non-state level accountability mechanisms; and
(iv) coordination including support to state-level coordination between institutions in the sector and support to coordination between the state and development partners.
In this regard the exercise considered the strengths and shortcomings of the UNMIL approach, including a review of the evolution of the mandate and its strategic Mission priorities, as well as how the internal organization of UNMIL and the UN (e.g. structures, planning, monitoring, analysis coordination and capacity, and gender mainstreaming aspects) influenced the effectiveness and efficiency of UNMIL support.
The exercise also looked at various stages of the mission:
- immediate post-conflict (re-establishment of state authority)
- drawdown and transition processes.
The target audience for the findings of the report included:
- the United Nations Security Council;
- the UN Secretariat, including DPKO, DPA, PBSO;
- UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes;
- other UN peace operations;
- the Government of Liberia;
- national stakeholders; and
- international partners based in Liberia.
This mandate was conducted in the context of the adoption of its resolution 2333 (2016), authorizing a final extension of the substantive mandate of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) to 30 March 2018, and its subsequent liquidation by 30 June 2018.
Principal among UNMIL’s mandate areas has been its extensive engagement in support of rule of law – reform of the justice and security sectors, being the lead international actor supporting these areas since its establishment in 2003, committing significant technical, financial and political resources towards :
- the reform of the national police ;
- the promotion, protection and monitoring of human rights.
ISSAT was requested to support UNMIL and UNDP in undertaking an initial needs assessment to understand the institutional and individual needs of the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives in the Liberian Legislature. The aim of the assessment was to identify institutional capacity and resource gaps that impeded the parliament’s ability to fully exercise its oversight, legislative drafting, representation, and agenda-setting role with regard to the Liberian security sector. In parallel, the assessment examined potential windows of opportunity for synergies between: the broader SSR process in Liberia; elements of the Joint Programme for Rule of Law in Liberia; and, the prospective multi-annual UN Legislature capacity-building programme. This needs assessment was the first step in DCAF's assistance to UNMIL and UNDP in designing and implementing this capacity building programme, drawing on the capacities of ISSAT and DCAF’s Sub-Saharan Africa Division (SSAD) to do so.
Security Sector Reform (SSR) has become a central component of efforts to overcome the cycle of conflict and the causes of fragility, from Sudan to Sierra Leone and from Serbia to the Solomon Islands. SSR aims to ensure that states are able to provide effective and accountable security and justice services. To be sustainable, security system reform (SSR) must be based on the principles of accountability, transparency, equality, civilian protection, human security, democratic norms and respect for human rights. This suggests that SSR involves long-term investments that must figure prominently in peace operation mandates and in the longer-term peace building and development strategies that continue well after the departure of the initial peace operation. However, as highlighted by the needs assessment conducted by Association for Security Sector Reform Education and Training in 2012, a key challenge faced by the international community is the lack of operational capacity to support Security Sector Reform.
In response to these challenges, the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), in partnership with the Integrated Mission Training Cell (IMTC) of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), hosted a training in Monrovia, Liberia. The course was facilitated by international experts from the Geneva Center for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT). This training was a closed training opened to UNMIL Mission staff.
The five day course used interactive, co-learning methodology aimed at encouraging participants to share knowledge and experience with each other, and to adopt a problem-solving approach through a series of hands-on practical exercises, case studies, simulations and group activities. In addition to general presentations and plenary discussions, the training also made use of guest speakers who shared their personal experience.