The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic forms a part of the executive power in the Slovak Republic.It is responsible for the development of relations with other states and co-operation with multi-national and international organisations, in particular in the area of foreign and security policy, bilateral relations, economic co-operation, culture, science, technology, and education.
The Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as part of the activities of the current Slovak Presidency in the Visegrad Group, organised a training course “Introduction to Security Sector Reform (SSR)”, near Bratislava from the 28th of June to the 1st of July 2011. The course was carried out in partnership with ISSAT.
The course was aimed at participants from the Visegrad 4 countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia), as well as Austria, Slovenia and Croatia. In addition, the participants were from different backgrounds, such as foreign affairs, defence, interior/police, justice/rule of law and development. The course was particularly aimed at participants holding positions at middle management or desk-officer level with special responsibility for SSR issues.
The main objectives included:
- Better understanding of the concept and evolution of SSR, including actors, concepts and principles;
- Understanding the international policy framework for SSR, with particular emphasis on the emerging EU approach to SSR;
- Recognising the political nature of SSR and the challenges faced when ‘supporting’ SSR processes in conflict affected or fragile states;
- Using concrete cases to build on lessons learned and applying concepts to practice.
Recognising the importance of security sector reform (SSR), ISSAT worked in partnership with the African Development Bank, the United Nations, the Africa Security Sector Network, and the Embassy of Slovakia in Nairobi to develop the High Level Panel (HLP) discussion on the Challenges and Opportunities for Security Sector Reform in East Africa. The HLP was held on 2 and 3 October 2012, and hosted at the UN Office in Nairobi, Kenya.
The HLP included discussions on the AU’s SSR strategy and experiences from SSR processes in countries in the region such as Burundi, South Sudan and Somalia. In addition, the event will include a discussion on how both the Intergovernmental Authority on development (IGAD) and the East African Community (EAC) can advance their respective approaches to SSR in order to effectively implement the provisions of the AU’s SSR Policy Framework and to better support, monitor and coordinate SSR programming in the region.
This was the third year in which ISSAT has supported a HLP event, the overall purpose of these events is to gather good SSR practice and to reach out to senior policymakers to help tackling some of the challenges of support SSR processes in complex environments
The aim of the event is to deliberate on what collective actions need to be undertaken by the international community in the short and long-term to help ensure that we develop the enabling conditions to progressively achieve the various security goals and targets as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The debate will also consider how security and justice reform can also make a meaningful contribution to the wider development endeavours and goals as outlined in the SDGs. The event will ultimately help to inform ongoing national and international policy deliberations regarding the various goals while also identify actionable steps that can improve the contributions and relevance of SSR to the wider SDGs agenda.
The informal working breakfast debate on the security development nexus will take place on the sidelines of the United Nations Development Summit which is taking place from 25-27 September 2015. The event will provide an opportunity for leading policymakers to collectively discuss the implications, opportunities, and significance of the landmark decision to integrate security and justice amongst the SDGs.
Support to NL-Slovakia to support the EU in the development of an integrated EU SSR policy framework
Within the framework of the revision process of the EU SSR policy, the aim of this mandate was to support the Netherlands and Slovakia to organise a series of workshops and seminars together with the EU institutions (the European External Action Service, the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, and the Directorate-General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations).These consultations were used to allow an exchange of views on SSR, the main challenges and current trends around the world and across organisations.
- Expert advice to the content development of the meetings;
- Expert advice and input to the meetings, either through facilitating panels or as speakers;
- Support to the development of concept notes for the events;
- Support to the development of outcome documents, used to feed in the EU reflection on the new policy.
The training brought together approximately 25 participants from across government Ministries from Visegrad 4 (V4) countries and Ukraine. Topics covered in the training included: governance and SSR, police/ justice reform, the role of non-state actors etc. The training was based on practical case studies and interactive exercises. Special focus was paid to the Ukraine crisis. Participants were also invited to share their experiences throughout the training.
ISSAT facilitated a dialogue for EU member states and expert community to discuss how to support the new EU wide strategic framework implementation which was endorsed on 14th November by the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC). In working sessions MS discussed the possibilities to strengthen coordination and cooperation from their perspective in order to pursue comprehensive approach and more coherent SSR engagement. In the second session MS discussed the risks of SSR engagement, which will feed the elaboration of risk assessment methodology, as a concrete action for implementation of the SSR framework.