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Case Studies

The Challenges of Sequencing National Security Policy and National Security Legislation in Timor-Leste

In Timor-Leste, the government’s intention was first to develop a national security policy, which would subsequently guide the development of national security legislation. However, following the 2006 security crisis, swift development of the legislation became a priority, so that the roles and responsibilities of the police and defence forces could be more clearly delineated. Legislation and policy thus advanced in parallel: the national security law would be led by the Office of the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Defence, while national security policy would continue to be developed under the auspices of the Office
of the President and the Secretary of State for Security. In order to ensure links between the two processes, each of the institutions would comment in parallel on the draft law and draft policy. In practice this approach proved challenging; there were limited national resources to lead both processes, and equally limited international resources to support the national effort.  Finally, further delays in the policy-making process resulted in the national security law being adopted prior to the national security policy. As a result there was difficulty aligning policy with law, despite the fact that the law did not undergo the same broad consultative process as national security policy. After considerable national effort, law and policy were finally aligned, with a focus on supporting an integrated security sector.

Source found in: Security Sector Reform: Integrated Technical Guidance Notes , United Nations SSR Task Force, 2012. p. 125.

Case Study

Facilitating National Consultations in Liberia

In Liberia, it was decided that the Governance Commission (GC) would lead in the development of national security strategy. The GC, which had been created by the Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement to promote good governance in the Liberian public sector, resolved to ensure a consultative approach to the development of the strategy. However, this approach was resisted by numerous representatives of government ministries, who feared that including civilians in discussions on national security would
amount to compromising that security.

The leadership provided by the GC was vital in overcoming this challenge. In particular, an effective approach was the South-South dialogue the GC supported, which brought together experts from other countries in the region to share their experiences with similar processes.

This approach proved extremely useful in alleviating fears of undertaking broad national public consultations. The consultation
process then took place across the country and involved traditional chiefs, women, civil society, local authorities, youth and local officials from the United Nations Mission in Liberia. The consultation identified local perceptions of national security threats, which included poverty, unemployment, crime, ethnic tensions and regional insecurity. These concerns were in turn reflected in the national security strategy and resulted in recognition of the need for a wider range of government ministries to support national security provision.

Source found in: Security Sector Reform: Integrated Technical Guidance Notes , United Nations SSR Task Force, 2012. p 133.

Case Study


Sustainability versus dependency

Ferdinand von Habsburg-Lothringen, a former strategic advisor to the UNDP, shares his experiences implementing security sector reform in South Sudan. He discusses the process and challenges of implementing SSR strategies in a newly formed state and provides advice to those going out to the demanding and delicate role of advising.

Questions asked during the interview: 

1. How can sustainability be ensured without creating dependency?

2. Have you ever been asked to do the work instead of providing support?

3. Have you ever come across cases of corruption and how do you deal with them?

4. What top tips would you give to a new advisor in charge of designing a capacity development plan?

Part 1 of this interview discusses identifying capacity and dealing with trauma.


Identifying capacity, dealing with trauma

Ferdinand von Habsburg, strategic advisor to the UNDP, shares some of his experiences as an advisor on security sector reform in South Sudan. He addresses aspects an advisor must consider when assessing existing capacity, identifying gaps, and designing a capacity development plan as well as ensuring buy-in. He touches also upon the effects that post-traumatic stress disorder can play in affecting capacity.

Questions asked during the interview:

1. What aspects would an adviser have to think about when designing a capacity development plan?

2. How can buy-in be ensured for an SSR programme?

Part 2 of the interview is looks at sustainability versus dependency.


Gender in SSR

Stephen Jackson, Chief of Staff at the UN Office in Burundi, discusses the role gender plays in SSR and considers why a gender component is not a standard part of all SSR programmes.


"Gender often falls low down the list in terms of outcomes in a security sector reform process..... it's not as if that agenda is enormously well advanced in a lot of the partners countries, let's be honest." Stephen Jackson



High Level Panel Session on SSR (East Africa): AU and UN Policy Frameworks, Key Issues & Emerging Trends ( Session 1: 02-10-12)

Moderator: General Lamine Cissé, former Chief of Defence Staff and Minister of Interior of Senegal, former UN SRSG in the Central African Republic (BONUCA) and SRSG for West Africa, UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA)

Speakers: Mr. Dmitry Titov, UN Assistant Secretary–General for Rule of Law and Security Institutions, Department of Peacekeeping Operations
Dr. Tarek A. Sharif, Head of the Defence and Security Division of the Peace and Security Department, African Union
Mr. Gabriel Negatu, Regional Director for the East Africa Resource Centre, African Development Bank (AfDB)


High Level Panel Session on SSR (East Africa): SSR in Burundi-Lessons & Challenges (Session 3: 02-10-12)

Moderator:Mr. Stephen Jackson, Chief of Staff, United Nations Office in Burundi (BNUB)

Major General Silas Ntigurirwa, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence
Mr. Maurice Mbonimpa, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Security
Mr. Charles Ndayiziga, Director, Centre d’Alerte de Prévention des Conflits (CENAP)


High Level Panel Session on SSR (East Africa): SSR in Somalia-Lessons & Challenges (Session 4: 02-10-12)

Moderator: Ambassador Augustine Mahiga, UN SRSG for Somalia and Head of UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS)

Colonel Mohammed Jama, Strategic Military Adviser to the Somali Chief of Defence Staff
Hon. Hussein Arab Isse, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence and Member of the Federal Parliament of Somalia
Ms. Hanan Ibrahim, Director of the African Initiative for African Women
Brigadier General Abdihakim Dahir Sa’id, Deputy Police Commissioner, Somalia


High Level Panel Session on SSR (East Africa): Concluding Session (03-10-12)

Moderator: Dr. Michal Mlynár, Ambassador of Slovakia with residence in Nairobi and Chair of the ISSAT Governing Board

Ambassador Sahle-Work Zewde, Director General of the UN Office at Nairobi (UNON) (TBC)
Ambassador Nancy Kirui, CBS, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of State for Defence, Kenya


High Level Panel Session on SSR (East Africa): SSR in South Sudan_Lessons & Challenges (Session 2: 02-10-12)

Moderator: Ms. Hilde Johnson, UN SRSG in South Sudan and Head of UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS)

General Oyay Deng Ajak, Minister of National Security, South Sudan
Mr. Edmund Yakani, Coordinator, Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation (CEPO), South Sudan
Lieutenant General (Ret) Gebretsadkan Gebretensae, Executive Director, Centre for Policy Research and Dialogue (CPRD)


Policy and Research Papers

Ammunition Stockpile Management in Africa: Challenges and scope for action

The improper management of conventional ammunition and explosives poses significant safety and security risks. Frequent ammunition depot explosions and diversions from ammunition stocks of state actors testify to the relevance of the issue to Africa. Overcoming challenges to effective national ammunition management can be a formidable task in itself. This paper considers the challenges to and scope for action on ammunition management in Africa. It is argued that concerted efforts by African states and their international partners will be essential to effectively limiting risks of undesirable explosive events and ammunition diversions on the continent.


Regulating Arms Brokering: Taking Stock and Moving Forward the United Nations Process

The problem of lacking or inconsistent regulations on arms brokering is painstakingly clear. Arms brokers are central in many illicit arms transfers, including transfers to conflict regions, embargoed actors, and serious human rights abusers. In the United Nations Programme of Action on SALW (UN PoA) of 2001, States specifically committed to develop adequate national legislation and common understandings on arms brokering. This report reviews progress made around the control of brokering.

It shows that a growing number of states have established legislation on arms brokering, or will do so. Comparing domestic norms and multilateral standards reveals that there is a large degree of convergence on key regulatory principles and measures, a good foundation for developing global minimal standards on brokering controls. The UNGA in October/November 2005 provides an opportunity for strengthening the international commitment to enhancing cooperation in combating illicit SALW brokering. Further efforts in this regard remain crucial, in particular in order to eliminate the loopholes and inconsistencies which allow brokering activities to take place with relative ease and impunity.

It is therefore urgent that the UN establish, at a minimum, a Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on Brokering, mandated to consider the feasibility of an international instrument and to identify the elements required for effective national brokering controls. The mandate should also consider controls on transportation and financial services related to arms brokering. Complementary standards on SALW control should also be developed in conformity with commitments undertaken with the UN PoA, including the development of minimal standards on end-user certificates and of adequate licensing to decide on arms exports and brokering activities.


Making the Law Work for Everyone

When the law works for everyone, it defines and enforces the rights and obligations of all. This allows people to interact with one another in an atmosphere that is certain and predictable. Thus, the rule of law is not a mere adornment to development; it is a vital source of progress. It creates an environment in which the full spectrum of human creativity can flourish, and prosperity can be built. The Commission understands legal empowerment to be a process of systemic change through which the poor and excluded become able to use the law, the legal system, and legal services to protect and advance their rights and interests as citizens and economic actors.


Making the Law Work for Everyone

This is the second of two volumes of the report of the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor and consists mainly of the outcomes of fi ve working groups established to inform the Commission’s deliberations through substantive work in the thematic areas of Access to Justice and Rule of Law, Property Rights, Labour Rights,
Business Rights and with respect to overall implementation strategies. The working groups consisted of a core of between fi ve and seven experts and stakeholders in their
individual capacities from around the world, with leading edge expertise and experience in the theme to be studied.


New Voices: National Perspectives on Rule of Law Assistance

It is now widely recognized that the advancement of the rule of law is essential to the maintenance of peace and security, the realization of sustainable development, and the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Rule of law assistance is a growing area of demand and significant experience has been accumulated in this field over the past 20 years. Yet, despite the centrality of the rule of law to our challenging global agenda, rule of law assistance is still too often executed in an ad hoc manner, designed without proper consultations with national stakeholders, and absent exacting standards of evaluation. A new perspective on rule of law assistance delivery is clearly needed.

The United Nations hosted a consultative process in New York resulting in this report, entitled New Voices: National Perspectives on Rule of Law Assistance. Sixteen national rule of law experts engaged in rule of law reform in 13 countries and regions, joined representatives from the United Nations system and partner countries to offer their respective views on how rule of law assistance can be better channeled to deliver results. The overall aim is to enhance dialogue between rule of law assistance providers and rule of law reformers in countries with a view to placing national perspectives at the centre of rule of law assistance.

This report outlines the following set of recommendations, corresponding to four major common conclusions which emerged from the consultative process. The national experts widely agreed that rule of law assistance is enhanced where: 1) national actors experience greater ownership over rule of law programmes; 2) local stakeholders are empowered; 3) assistance is coordinated and coherent; and 4) meaningful evaluations and assessment of impact are conducted. These common conclusions are based on the personal views and experiences of the national experts with rule of law assistance as articulated in the Voices section of this report.

It is hoped that the common conclusions and recommendations formulated by this informal forum of experts will serve as an important turning point towards a more effective approach to rule of law assistance. A clear call emerged for national rule of law policy-makers and experts and donor partners to come together to develop an internationally-recognized framework guiding rule of law assistance.


African Perspectives on Security Sector Reform, High-level Forum Report, New York, 14 May 2010

On 14 May 2010, the Permanent Missions of Nigeria and South Africa to the United Nations, with facilitation support from the United Nations SSR Unit, Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions, and with generous financial contribution from the Permanent Mission of the Netherlands to the United Nations, co-hosted the High-level Forum on African Perspectives on SSR. The event brought together approximately 80 high-level participants from 55 Permanent Missions and 11 United Nations entities.

The High-Level Forum highlighted emerging trends and developments in the field of SSR, including its place within broader institutional reform, the role of intra-African SSR support, outsourcing and the role of private commercial security actors in supporting SSR and the significance of the African Union’s SSR Policy as an integral part the African Peace and Security Framework (APSA). 

The co-chairs’ statement, which is included herein, underscored that these developments are “significant for the success and sustainability of such reform processes moving forward but which, so far, have not featured adequately in the SSR policy agenda”. 

The High-Level Forum and co-chairs statement were informed by findings from the Experts-level Seminar on African Perspectives on SSR, which was held the previous day on 13 May. This event brought together representatives from 15 African Permanent Missions, the African Union SSR advisor and high-ranking officials from the Burundian National Defense Forces and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Bujumbura. The discussions, focused on three main themes: 1) national ownership; 2) coordination of SSR assistance; and 3) the regional dimensions of SSR. The discussions highlighted the following issues: 

On national ownership of SSR:  

  • “National ownership” is a contested concept that requires careful unpacking.
  • It consists above all of the ability of national actors to exercise political leadership of the process, including through the commitment of national resources to the process.

 On coordination of SSR assistance:  

  • Coordination and national ownership are intimately linked. Coordination should be the primary responsibility of the national authorities and is in itself a manifestation of ownership.
  • National authorities and donors often have different priorities. This underscores the need for national authorities to commit their own resources in order to make decisions independently. 

On the regional dimensions of SSR: 

  • There is a need to use regional mechanisms to encourage and support countries to undertake sustainable SSR. The African Peer Review Mechanism may be useful in this regard because it is African-led and provides considerable scope through which to consider SSR.
  • It is critical to recognize the challenges and limitations to regional approaches given that many neighbouring countries are in conflict or have a history of conflict, which underscores the importance of engagement at the international level. To provide the required support, the United Nations needs to speak with a coherent voice.

Handbook on police accountability, oversight and integrity

The present UNODC Handbook is one of the practical tools developed by UNODC to support  countries in the implementation of the rule of law and the development of criminal  justice reform. It aims to assist countries in their efforts to develop effective systems of  oversight and accountability within their law enforcement authorities and enhance  police integrity, and it addresses issues including:

  • " Enhancement of police integrity and the integrity of policing
  • Dealing with complaints about policing (receipt, investigation and follow-up)
  • " Setting policing priorities and encouraging policy input, including from outside the police
  • " “Inviting” external review, including from independent actor

Statement by the President of the Security Council

At the 6630th meeting of the Security Council, held on 12 October 2011, in connection with the Council’s consideration of the item entitled “Maintenance of international peace and security”, the President of the Security Council released a statement on behalf of the Council in regards to SSR.


Mapping Study on Gender and Security Sector Reform Actors and Activities in Liberia

DCAF conducted a mapping study on Gender and Security Sector Reform Actors and Activities in Liberia from November 2010 to March 2011. The mapping study was undertaken by an independent consultant, Mr Cecil Griffiths from the Liberian National Law Enforcement Association (LINLEA). This research was made possible thanks to the cooperation of most gender and SSR actors in Liberia including the Ministry of Gender and Development (MoGD), the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and the Civil Society Organization Working Group on Security Sector Reform.

This project aimed to complement existing information on gender and SSR issues in Liberia and to reinforce information-sharing and coordination between actors.

On 31 March 2011, LINLEA and DCAF organised a workshop in Monrovia to complete and validate the findings of the study. In addition to validating the findings of the study, the participants made key recommendations related to gender and training, policy development, programmes and activities. The report was launched in Monrovia on 23 September 2011.


Flux Commerciaux et Contrôles des Transferts de Munitions Pour Armes Légères en Afrique

Le développement de contrôles spécifiques dans le cadre de la lutte contre le commerce illégal de munitions pour armes légères et de petit calibre a suscité un grand intérêt parmi les Etats, comme en témoignent les récents débats menés sur cette matière à l'échelon international. Le présent article comprend des informations contextuelles sur le commerce de munitions et sur les normes de contrôle existantes en Afrique, une des régions les plus touchées par la prolifération et l'utilisation illégale d'armes légères et de petit calibre et de leurs munitions.

Le chapitre qui suit étudie la problématique générale des contrôles de munitions pour armes légères et de petit calibre. Il est suivi par un aperçu des sources et transferts officiels autorisés de munitions pour armes de petit calibre à destination et en provenance de l'Afrique, ainsi qu'à l'intérieur de l’Afrique.

Les chapitres suivants sont dédiés aux normes de contrôle multilatérales valables qui existent en Afrique et décrivent les défis que l’Afrique devra encore relever pour instaurer des contrôles fiables des munitions. D'aucuns avancent qu'il existe de bonnes bases pour le développement de contrôles adéquats en Afrique. Pourtant, des efforts supplémentaires seront indispensables pour lutter efficacement contre les conséquences désastreuses de la prolifération et de l'utilisation illégale de munitions pour armes légères et de petit calibre ...


Ammunition Stockpile Controls : Further Steps at the Global Level

Ammunition controls were long neglected in international debates but some progress is made at the United Nations. A UN group of governmental experts reported on problems arising from ammunition stockpiles in surplus in July 2008. The group’s recommendations for further action at national, regional, and global levels were endorsed by the UN General Assembly in a resolution in December 2008. The steps that are taken at the UN have the potential to make an important practical contribution to building capacities for better ammunition stockpile controls.


Transitional Justice and Displacement

Transitional justice is often pursued in contexts where people have been forced from their homes and communities by human rights violations and have suffered additional abuses while displaced. Yet little attention has been paid to how transitional justice measures can be used to address the wide range of injustices associated with displacement and thereby serve as part of a comprehensive approach to the resolution of displacement. This report provides an overview of the relationship between transitional justice and displacement and offers specific guidance to policymakers and practitioners in the numerous fields that share a concern with displacement, including transitional justice, humanitarianism, peacebuilding, and development. Displaced persons often have a critical stake in transitional justice processes, which have the potential to contribute positively to efforts to uphold their rights and well-being. When displacement is linked to large-scale human rights violations, the concerns of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) should be incorporated in appropriate ways into transitional justice efforts. At the same time, responses to the problem of displacement should integrate transitional justice measures.


Willing and Able? Challenges to Security Sector Reform in Weak Post-war States – Insights from the Central African Republic

Security sector reform (SSR) is an integral part of the international community’s efforts to build peace and enhance security in weak post-war states. It has, however, proven difficult to undertake SSR in such contexts. A number of factors constitute a challenge to create security forces that are able to provide security to the population.

Based on previous research, this report highlights some of the challenges to SSR in weak post-war states. Through an analysis of the SSR process in the Central African Republic, this study shows that informal power structures, a volatile security situation and failure to understand how SSR is influenced by other political processes, negatively impact on the prospect for successful  implementation of reforms. Furthermore, this study demonstrates that weak capacity and lack of political will on behalf of the national government, is a challenge to local ownership and sustainable reforms. Despite a holistic approach to reforms aiming to improve both the capacity of the security forces and to increase democratic control of the security institutions, insufficient international engagement, scarce resources, lack of strategic direction and inadequate donor coordination have limited the prospect for implementation of reforms.


Civilian Peacekeeping Capacity: Mobilizing Partners to Match Supply and Demand

The timely deployment of suitably qualified civilian personnel is a challenge that none of the organizations that deploy peacekeepers has yet addressed. This challenge has floundered on the periphery of the peacekeeping debate for many years, but a 2010–11 UN civilian capacity review provides a unique opportunity to focus attention on the problem. This article proposes the formation of a global civilian capacity partnership that brings together the training and roster community, the UN Secretariat and a grouping of interested states, with the aim of significantly improving the UN Secretariat’s ability to identify, recruit and deploy suitably qualified civilian personnel in a reasonable time, and without adverse side effects for the local community or the mission mandate.


Reviewing the Justice and Security Hub Modality as Piloted in Liberia

‘The Republic of Bangui’ or ‘the Republic of Monrovia’ are phrases we sometimes hear from practitioners to describe post conflict countries where very few services exist outside the capital city. This is especially the case for security – the critical public good in post conflict countries. In response to the need to bring security services closer to the citizens who often need them most, the Government of Liberia and the United Nations are piloting a new approach financed by the UN Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) – the so-called ‘Justice and Security Hubs’. The donor community and the United Nations are watching closely. If this works, there is indication from UN officials that the model could potentially be replicated in other settings such as the East of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Haiti and the northern states of South Sudan. If the hub concept is capable of being adapted and successful elsewhere, the United Nations will not only have added a new instrument to its peacekeeping toolkit but will also firmly demonstrate how the UN Peacebuilding Fund can in essence be catalytic in fostering long-term and comprehensive approaches to peacebuilding. This practice note outlines the process of developing and constructing the first hub in Liberia, which is due to be partly operational by the end of 2012, and provides a prognosis on its chances for success.


Criminal Justice and Rule of Law Capacity Building to Counter Terrorism in Fragile Institutional Contexts: Lessons From Development Cooperation

Rule of law–based criminal justice responses to terrorism are most effectively ensured when they are practiced within a criminal justice system capable of handling ordinary criminal offenses while protecting the rights of the accused and when all are equally accountable under the law. Building the capacity of weak criminal justice systems to safeguard mutual rights and responsibilities of governments and their citizens is essential for the alleviation of a number of conditions conducive to violent extremism and the spread of terrorism. A new wave of multilateral counterterrorism initiatives has the opportunity to recalibrate how criminal justice and rule of law–oriented counterterrorism capacity-building assistance is delivered to developing states with weak institutions.

This policy brief argues that aligning counterterrorism capacity-building agendas within a framework informed by the Paris Principles and the development cooperation experience could greatly enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of criminal justice and rule of law capacity-building assistance in general and in preventing terrorism specifically.


United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations SSR Newsletter - October-December 2012

The SSR Newsletter provides an update on recent activities of the SSR Unit, gives an overview of upcoming initiatives and shares relevant information and announcements with the greater SSR community.

In this issue:

  • Launch of UN SSR Integrated Technical Guidance Notes 
  • High-Level Meeting of the Group of Friends of SSR 
  • High-Level Forum on Defence Sector Reform 
  • Spotlight on a Mission: UNMIT 
  • Answering the Call for SSR Assistance to Mali 
  • Roundtable on SSR in Peacebuilding 
  • Addressing the Inter-Linkages between SSR and the Protection of Civilians 
  • The UN Security and Justice Sectors Fact Sheet 
  • Coming Soon... 
  • About the SSR Newsletter

A Giant with Feet of Clay? The EU’s Ability to Develop Capabilities for Civilian Crisis Management

Civilian crisis management has long been considered the EU’s forte. Recent research however has questioned the EU’s claim to this specialization. I will interrogate how the EU has fared in building civilian capabilities for CSDP through a case study of the impact of the Europeanization of CCM norms in one of the newer EU member states - Poland. I investigate the domestic reverberations of an EU-level CCM governance – conceptualized as a vertical diffusion of norms - and a horizontal diffusion in the realms of policy setting, institutional adaptation, as well as in recruitment and training. I hypothesize that the European cognitive constructions and policy designs are the more likely to impact upon Polish security policy the more they resonate with the ideas embedded in the national security identity.

Another intervening variable affecting the ‘translation’ of EU policy into the domestic context is state capacity. Due to weaknesses
in the supply side of CCM and the refracting impact of national security identity and state capacity, I find that Europeanization has had a limited impact on the civilian response capability-building in Poland. Europeanization has been shallow, featuring adjustments
on the margins rather than the core of the security policy.


The Role of the UNPBF in the Postwar Recovery of Fragile States

Peacebuilding is an experimental field and the impact of international measure implemented in war-torn contexts is often difficult to assess. This article provides a QCA analysis of the impact of five key-dimensions of the UNPBF in African states, aiming to investigate whether the path to stability can consist of single independent measures or if it is the result of their combined effect.



These Principles were developed in order to provide guidance to those engaged in drafting, revising, or implementing laws or provisions relating to the state’s authority to withhold information on national security grounds or to punish the disclosure of such information.

They are based on international (including regional) and national law, standards, good practices, and the writings of experts.
They address national security—rather than all grounds for withholding information. All other public grounds for restricting access should at least meet these standards.

These Principles were drafted by 22 organizations and academic centres (listed in the Annex) in consultation with more than 500 experts from more than 70 countries at 14 meetings held around the world, facilitated by the Open Society Justice Initiative, and in consultation with the four special rapporteurs on freedom of expression and/or media freedom and the special rapporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights:

 the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression,
 the UN Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights,
 the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information,
 the Organization of American States (OAS) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, and
 the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Representative on Freedom of the Media.


The Road Ahead: Challenges and Opportunities of SSR 2013

On 2-3 October 2012, DCAF-ISSAT organised a High Level Panel (HLP) on Challenges and Opportunities for Security Sector Reform (SSR) in East Africa , in partnership with the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON), the Governments of Burundi, Kenya, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Somalia and South Sudan, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union (AU), East African Community (EAC), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Security Sector Network (ASSN). It was attended by over two hundred SSR policy makers and practitioners.

This report seeks to take those discussions further, including more of the points raised by participants during the HLP, and adding in lessons from experience gathered from individual missions and related trainings. Three case studies featured in the HLP (Burundi, Somalia and South Sudan) and as such provide many of the examples, although the report also draws from examples beyond East Africa. An introductory section on SSR in each of these countries is provided in section one and full case studies are included in the annex.

This report, which keeps to the same thematic areas as those covered in the HLP, offers information on contemporary thinking in security and justice reform, and provides some recommendations and examples of good practice to those interested in or engaged in SSR.

Some videos interviews of the participants at the event are listed in the Related Resources column on the right of this webpage. A full list of available videos from this event are available under the documents tab on the HLP's Events page. Podcasts of all the sessions are available there also.


CIVCAP 2012: Laying Concrete Foundations

Even in the current context of financial constraints and challenging Member State dynamics at the UN, the next 12 months should be be seized as an important time for realizing pragmatic improvement in how the international community assists countries emerging from conflict. The Civilian Capacity (CIVCAP) initiative represents areal opportunity to drive concrete change on issues long recognized as deficient. CIVCAP is an important chance to depart from tired and often ineffective approaches to
providing technical support in fragile settings. There are practical steps policy-makers can take to support a strategic
shift in how peacebuilding and post-conflict assistance is provided.

Since March 2011, CIVCAP has remained a prominent agenda item at the United Nations. The key findings and main recommendations of the CIVCAP report were strongly supported by the UN Secretary-General and in May 2012 the CIVCAP process was officially recognized by the 193 Member States of the General Assembly. Since that time, the UN and partners have engaged in intensive policy consultations and have sought to identify solutions both in the field and for systemic challenges.

This policy brief presents developments in 2012 and it spotlights the CAPMATCH consultation with the Training and Rostering Community held in June 2012, which was supported by NUPI and co-hosted by the Permanent Missions of Indonesia and Canada to the United Nations. The coming General Assembly session will be important for maintaining momentum for the CIVCAP agenda.

This policy brief identifies three broad opportunities for policy makers to help deliver short-term results for CIVCAP and to set the stage for further reform:

  1. At the upcoming 67thGeneral Assembly session;
  2. In support of select field programmes; and
  3. In support of the CAPMATCH launch in mid-September 2012

UN Police, Justice and Corrections Programming in Guinea-Bissau - A Compact Case Study

Case studies on police, justice and corrections programming for nine UN complex operations and special political missions were developed by Stimson’s Future of Peace Operations Program at the request of the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions (OROLSI) of the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations. They are descriptive rather than analytic documents that help to organize, by mission, the issues and activities that the main study, Understanding Impact of Police, Justice and Corrections in UN Peace Operations, treats functionally, across cases, and are summarized in the study’s annexes. 


UN Secretary General Report on "Securing peace and development: the role of the United Nations in supporting security sector reform" (A/62/659-S/20...

The UNSG Report testifies the growing importance SSR is getting at the global level and the need for the international community to address it in a efficient, effective, coherent, and coordinated manner. The report was submitted on 23 January 2008 both to the General Assembly and Security Council following a request by the General Assembly for a comprehensive report on United Nation’s approaches to security sector reform.

The report underlines that security, human rights and development are interdependent and mutually reinforcing conditions for sustainable peace. In addition it recognises that these fundamental elements can be achieved only within a broad framework of the rule of law. The report is built on the overall assumption that Member States and their organizations remain central providers of security and therefore that national authorities bear the primary responsibility for carrying out SSR processes that should be undertaken on the basis of a national decision. It provides an overview of the scope and content of SSR; reviews UN’s experience in supporting SSR; sets out some basic principles that must governed UN support to SSR. Potential roles for the UN in support of SSR are also identified; they include a normative (establishing international principles and standards as well as policies and guidelines on SSR, and by providing a forum for international dialogue) and operational (helping to establish an enabling environment; supporting needs assessments and strategic planning; facilitating national dialogue; providing technical advice and support to security institutions and capacity-building support for oversight mechanisms) ones. Finally, it sets up immediate priorities and makes some recommendations for an effective, holistic, and coherent UN approach to SSR.


Caron End of assignment report MONUC

End of assignment of LGen (Ret) Marc Caron as the SSR advisor to the SRSG of MONUC.


UNSG Report "The Rule of Law and Transitional Justice in Conflict and Post-Conflict Societies"

Recent years have seen an increased focus by the United Nations on questions of transitional justice and the rule of law in conflict and post-conflict societies,yielding important lessons for our future activities. Success will depend on a number of critical factors, among them the need to ensure a common basis in international norms and standards and to mobilize the necessary resources for a sustainable investment in justice. We must learn as well to eschew one-size-fits-all formulas and the importation of foreign models, and, instead, base our support on national assessments, national participation and national needs and aspirations. Effective strategies will seek to support both technical capacity for reform and political will for reform. The United Nations must therefore support domestic reform constituencies, help build the capacity of national justice sector institutions, facilitate national consultations on justice reform and transitional justice and help fill the rule of law vacuum evident in so many post-conflict societies.


Developing the Security Sector: Security for whom, by whom? SSR and Gender

This paper briefly examines the current situation with regard to gender and security sector reform and underscores the importance of devoting attention to equal rights and opportunities for both men and women within the security sector. The second chapter offers examples and some practical recommendations.


Security System Reform. France's Approach

Security system reform is an essential factor in conflict prevention and peacebuilding. It plays a direct role in establishing democratic governance that respects human rights.
Insecurity obstructs development and poverty upsets security: SSR contributes to creating a development and reconstruction-friendly environment. Further upstream, it helps
prevent crisis and conflict.


Legal And Judicial Rule of Law work in Multi-dimensional Peacekeeping Operations: Lessons-Learned Study

Within the last 15 years, peacekeeping has undergone a rapid and remarkable transformation. Today, peacekeeping enjoys a much more expansive definition, which acknowledges the complexity and difficulty of truly winning the peace. The absence of the rule of law is a common cause and byproduct of conflicts, and in recognition of this fact, the United Nations (UN) has begun to regularly incorporate rule of law programming into complex multi-dimensional peacekeeping operations (hereinafter, peacekeeping operations).

This study reviews the recent experience with judicial and legal reform programming in UN peacekeeping operations and proposes measures to strengthen and integrate this programming within the mission to maximize its contribution to lasting peace and security. Though this relatively new aspect of peacekeeping has grown consistently in recent years, this study represents one of the first introspective examinations of its status and integration within the UN system.

While significant progress has been made in integrating judicial and legal reform programming into peacekeeping, this study concludes that the effort is still in its early stages, and a number of additional steps are needed to prepare the UN to address judicial and legal system issues in a post-conflict environment. Some of these measures may require additional resources, but more importantly, some demand changes in the way the UN plans and administers the rule of law dimension of peacekeeping operations.


Justice Components in United Nations Peace Operations

The purpose of this policy is to define the objectives, principles and functions of justice components of United Nations peacekeeping operations and special political
missions managed by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (hereafter “peace operations” or “missions”). In addition, this policy provides an illustrative list of the
substantive areas in which justice components may be engaged, as well as the partners with whom justice components must work in order to achieve their objectives. Finally, the policy provides guidance on basic management issues relating to justice components, including organizational structure, link to Headquarters, sub-programme plans, personnel, training, budget and reporting.


Preparing for a Security Sector Review: Lessons from Kosovo

These lessons learned, drawn directly from the author’s field experience, are not provided asinstructions or directives but as a practitioner’s suggestions and reflections. It is hoped that this report cancontribute to the development of good practices and more specifically to the establishment of moreproactive and holistic mechanisms in the preparation of security sector reform projects such as theKosovo ISSR. This report might also prove useful to governments, UN agencies and othernongovernmental organisations in designing security sector reform strategies or programmes. Given theimportance of security sector reform projects, especially in post-conflict environments, the preparatorywork undertaken before these projects should receive more attention and care, and this report intends onproviding actionable suggestions to assist the decision-makers and practitioners alike.
The core of the report lists and describes the tasks, objectives and outputs undertaken as part of theISSR preparatory phase. Each of these items is then analysed and lessons learned are drawn from them,based on Mr. Jérôme Mellon‘s specific experience with the Kosovo ISSR process, but with the objective ofbeing relevant and useful for future similar projects. This report also benefited from the input andassistance of BCPR staff members.


Access to Justice: Practice Note

This practice note is intended to suggest strategies for UNDP support to access to justice, particularly for the poor and disadvantaged, including women, children, minorities, persons living with HIV/AIDS and disabilities. Part II of the note emphasizes the need to focus on capacities to seek and provide remedies for injustice and outlines the normative principles that provide the framework within which these capacities can be developed. Part III of the note sets out principles for action, approaches and techniques that can be used by UNDP practitioners involved in access to justice programming. It also suggests steps in policy dialogue, partnership building, design, implementation and execution that are intended to increase the likelihood of success of access to justice programmes. Part III also highlights issues related to monitoring and evaluation that are particularly important, including the use of disaggregated data to indicate whether there have been results for different poor and disadvantaged groups. Part IV suggests ways to capitalize on UNDP’s advantage as an impartial and trusted partner of developing countries, and suggests possible entry points for programming. Finally, Part V lists knowledge resources for practitioners engaged in access to justice programming.


Human Rights in UNDP: Practice Note

With this Note, UNDP confirms its original policy position and elaborates, on the basis of experience, how this policy is to be implemented in the three strategic areas of intervention covering UNDPs work on human rights and human rights mainstreaming.
(1) Supporting the strengthening of national human rights systems;
(2) Promoting the application of a human rights-based approach to development programming; and
(3) Greater engagement with the international human rights machinery
The Practice Note links the implementation of the policy to the framework definition of a human rights-based approach to programming as captured in the “UN Common Understanding on a Human Rights-based Approach”, and explores opportunities and possibilities that arise during the programming cycle. The Practice Note moreover stresses that human rights are the business of every staff member, and that partnerships with other actors, notably the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, must be a defining characteristic of UNDP support with respect to human rights.


Roundtable on Security Sector Expenditure Reviews; Nairobi, Kenya 1 October 2012

On 1 October 2012 the roundtable on Security Sector Expenditure Reviews, hosted by the World Bank Global Centre on Conflict, Security and Development in Nairobi, Kenya and organised in partnership with DCAF’s International Security Sector Advisory Team, brought together economists and Security Sector Reform (SSR) practitioners and experts to discuss the challenges and opportunities for supporting the conduct of expenditure reviews and enhancing financial management in the security sector. 

The roundtable considered past and ongoing security sector expenditure reviews, in particular in Afghanistan and Liberia.  It sought to examine the challenges, trends and prospects of including similar reviews in other post-conflict countries.  It also provided a platform for economists and SSR practitioners to discuss how they can better collaborate to promote and enhance security sector expenditure review processes.  In addition, the roundtable included discussions on how such expenditure reviews can enhance ongoing SSR efforts and how to ensure that financial management becomes more integrated in SSR processes.


The Implementation of Police Reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Analysing UN and EU Efforts

This document analyses the role of the main international actors involved in the implementation of police reform in post-conflict Bosnia and Herzegovina, notably that of the UN and the EU. Despite considerable efforts and resources deployed over 17 years, the implementation of police reform remains an ‘unfinished business’ that demonstrates the slow pace of implementing rule of law reforms in Bosnia’s post-conflict setting, yet, in the long-term, remains vital for Bosnia’s stability and post-conflict reconstruction process. Starting with a presentation of the status of the police before and after the conflict, UN reforms (1995–2002) are first discussed in order to set the stage for an analysis of the role of the EU in the implementation of police reform. Here, particular emphasis is placed on the institution-building actions of the EU police mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina deployed on the ground for almost a decade (2003-June 2012). The article concludes with an overall assessment of UN and EU efforts in post-conflict Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the remaining challenges encountered by the EU on the ground, as the current leader to police reform implementation efforts. More generally, the article highlights that for police reform to succeed in the long-term, from 2012-onwards, the EU should pay particular attention to the political level, where most of the stumbling blocks for the implementation of police reform lie.