Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2151 (2014), Security Council Underscores Need for National Ownership of Security-Sector Reform

28 April 2014
SC/11369

Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2151 (2014), Security Council Underscores Need for National Ownership of Security-Sector Reform

28 April 2014
Security Council
SC/11369
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

7161st Meeting (AM)

Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2151 (2014), Security Council Underscores

Need for National Ownership of Security-Sector Reform

 

The Security Council capped its open debate on security sector reform today with the adoption of its first stand-alone resolution on the topic, reaffirming the importance of such reform in stabilizing countries recovering from conflict and resolving to prioritize reform aspects in both peacekeeping and special political mission mandates.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2151 (2014), the Council reiterated the centrality of national ownership for security sector reform processes, recognizing the need to consider host country perspectives in the formulation of peacekeeping and special political mandates.  It encouraged States to take the lead in defining an inclusive national vision on security sector reform, informed by the needs of their populations.

By other terms, the Council recognized that security sector reform must be in support of, and informed by, broader national political processes that were inclusive of all segments of society, resolving to link reform to such efforts.  Such reform must be better integrated into policing, defence, border management, maritime security and other relevant functions through the development of professional and accountable policing capabilities that strengthened community resilience.

As for the United Nations, the Council noted that the Organization was particularly well positioned to coordinate sector-wide reforms in specific situations and had comparative advantages in working with international and regional actors.  Among other measures, it requested the Secretary-General to strengthen the Organization's comprehensive approach to security sector reform, and develop additional guidance for United Nations officials on delivering mandated reform tasks.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, opening the debate, said the purpose of security sector reform was to make people's lives safer.  The United Nations had improved its delivery capacity through the Security Sector Reform Unit in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Inter-agency Security Sector Reform Task Force.  It had developed standards and guidance to strengthen the impact of its efforts.

Yet, more remained to be done, he said, noting that national security services must have the capacity to perform their duties, which required improved mapping of needs and gaps, as well as facilitating a coordinated response from partners.  It was important to reflect on the institutional capacities within the United Nations, on the links to other areas — such as the rule of law and human rights — and on how to ensure the flexible resources needed to meet ground conditions.

Aminu Wali, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nigeria, which holds the Council Presidency for April, in the ensuing debate, said that security sector reform was now a firmly established component in multidimensional peacekeeping operations.  Nigeria had presided over the Council's open debate in 2011, during which members issued a presidential statement requiring the Secretary-General to review the role of the United Nations in security sector reform.  He was pleased that the Secretary-General had responded by issuing his second report on that issue.

More broadly, speakers underscored the need for national ownership of the security sector reform process, stressing that Governments had the primary responsibility for determining priorities.  Processes must be inclusive, ensuring the participation of civil society, especially women, in the discussion and drafting of policies.

Several noted that reform must extend beyond the traditional security pillars — the police, army and intelligence agencies — into broader peacebuilding and development efforts, with many noting that a security sector operating under the framework of the rule of law could strengthen public confidence in the State.

Others called upon the United Nations to deepen its partnerships with regional and subregional organizations in order to optimize results.  On that point, Chad's representative suggested that the African Union could help develop security sector guidelines that were based on regional perspectives.

The allocation of adequate national resources was a common theme among several interventions, with Pakistan's delegate stressing that implementation often suffered under inadequate and untimely resources.

Also speaking today were ministers and other senior officials of Nigeria, Montenegro, Norway and Slovakia.

Representatives of the United States, Jordan, France, Luxembourg, Russian Federation, Chile, Australia, Rwanda, Argentina, United Kingdom, Republic of Korea, China, Lithuania, South Africa, India, Japan, Brazil, Guatemala, Turkey, Egypt, New Zealand, Malaysia, Estonia, Iran (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), Netherlands, Pakistan, Senegal, Indonesia, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Algeria, Kazakhstan, Czech Republic and United Republic of Tanzania also spoke.

The Head of the European Union Delegation also addressed the Council.

The meeting began at 10:05 a.m. and ended at 4:55 p.m.

Background

Meeting today for an open debate on security sector reform, the Security Council had before it the report of the Secretary-General on Securing States and societies:  strengthening the United Nations comprehensive support to security sector reform (document A/67/970–S/2013/480), as well as a 1 April concept note from the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations Secretary-General (document S/2014/238*).

Opening Remarks

BAN KI-MOON, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said the purpose of security sector reform was to make people's lives safer.  Security institutions were at the core of the compact between a State and its citizens.  The legitimate authority to use force came with a corresponding responsibility to protect and respect human rights.  A security sector operating under the framework of the rule of law could strengthen public confidence in the State and provide the necessary stability for peacebuilding and development.  Security institutions that lacked training, governance and oversight might fail to provide basic security or even violate the rights of those they aimed to protect.

He said that the United Nations had enhanced its support for the implementation of security strategies in Côte d'Ivoire and Mali, and had contributed to public financial management of security sectors in Liberia and Somalia.  It had improved its delivery capacity through the Security Sector Reform Unit in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Inter-agency Security Sector Reform Task Force, which brought together 14 partners.  It had developed standards and guidance to strengthen the impact of efforts.

Yet, more remained to be done, he said, stressing the importance of national security services having the capacity to perform their duties, notably in Central African Republic, Mali and Somalia.  That required improved mapping of needs and gaps, as well as facilitating a coordinated response from partners.  It was important to build a strong governance framework and culture of integrity.  "National ownership is imperative," he added.

Secretary-General Ban urged recognizing the links between security sector reform and broader reform processes.  Host nations must do more to meet immediate security needs.  In line with the due diligence policy, the United Nations was obliged to withdraw its support to actors that committed human rights violations or failed to address them.  Further, all actors must place greater emphasis on sector-wide approaches.  It was important to reflect on the institutional capacities within the United Nations, on links to other key areas, such as the rule of law and human rights, and on how to ensure the flexible resources needed to meet ground conditions.

Statements

AMINU WALI, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nigeria, stressed that security sector reform was now a firmly established component in multidimensional peacekeeping operations.  Nigeria had presided over a Security Council open debate on that subject in 2011, in which the 15-member body had adopted a presidential statement that built on previous outcomes.  That document required the Secretary-General to compile a comprehensive review of the role of the United Nations in security sector reform.  He was pleased that the Secretary-General had responded by issuing his second report on the issue.

He stressed the importance of horizontal exchanges of national experiences in the security sector development, including South-South exchanges, urging further efforts in that direction.  In that regard, the Group of Friends on Security Sector Reform was noteworthy.  He also underscored the important role regional and subregional organizations could play to support national security sector reforms, describing efforts undertaken by the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).  Those regional mechanisms could address issues beyond national efforts, such as transnational organized crimes, piracy, terrorism and other cross-border problems.  The Council faced a unique opportunity to consolidate outcomes as the resolution before it today could effectively address the issues and provide a strategic direction.

SAMANTHA POWER ( United States) said she looked forward to the adoption of the resolution, stressing that basic security was a fundamental civic need.  States without adequate security would become places where terrorists and smugglers could thrive and corruption would be rampant.  The establishment of an adequate security structure was particularly important in States recovering from conflict.  Liberia had relapsed into conflict in the mid-1990s due to its weak security structure.  She said that security sector reform must address various issues, for instance, sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Her country endorsed the Secretary-General’s emphasis on national ownership and the need for appropriate capacities within United Nations missions.  Further, it would consider those points when formulating future United Nations missions.  But, the international efforts could not succeed without the serious engagement of national authorities.

ZEID RA’AD ZEID AL-HUSSEIN (Jordan) said the United Nations played an important support role in security sector reform efforts.  The goal must be the creation of professional, effective and efficient security sectors that were accountable, and respected the rule of law and human rights.  The Organization's assistance must be based on rules, including that host countries provide security, respect national ownership of the reform process and coordinate assistance with national priorities.  The Council provided strategic vision through mandates that included a security sector reform component.  He called for increasing system-wide coordination, as well as that between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations.  States must provide resources that would allow the United Nations to effectively support countries. The role of the United Nations in providing assistance must be increased.

MAHAMAT ZENE CHERIF ( Chad) said security sector reform must include the police, army, intelligence, border control and civilian protection bodies.  It also must create accountable, professional institutions.  The United Nations had provided technical, legal and analytical assistance to national efforts.  The success of such reform must be based on national ownership of and commitment to the design of strategies that were in line with national priorities.  Authorities must allocate resources to make processes operational.  While Chad had seen successive armed conflicts, today, it was a place of "relative peace" thanks to police and justice, as well as the implementation of a disarmament demobilization and reintegration programme, alongside agreements with neighbouring States.  Those efforts had strengthened its security sector.  More broadly, he suggested the African Union could help develop security sector reform guidelines, based on regional perspectives.

GÉRARD ARAUD ( France) said that security sector reform could contribute to lasting stability and preventing conflict.  Countries emerging from conflict faced various needs, such as good governance and respect for human rights.  Among measures to address those issues, he emphasized that rehabilitating the police sector and re-launching the justice system were important.  Citizens would not feel safe if they did not see police patrolling and perpetrators of crimes going to prison.  Out of 47 Security Council resolutions adopted in 2013, 24 explicitly mention security sector reform.  He said, however, that the Security Council bore responsibility for failing to address human rights violence in South Sudan, stressing the need for security sector reform.  France had provided bilateral support in countries, including African countries, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Haiti.  His country would cosponsor the resolution to be adopted today.

SYLVIE LUCAS ( Luxembourg) said that State institutions entrusted with ensuring security had often become “predators” rather than “guardians” of security due to a lack of appropriate management and oversight mechanisms.  It was under the social contract that States must protect their citizens.  Security sector reform must be carried out by national authorities.  One successful example was Guinea, which focused its efforts on police and capacity-building.  The United Nations could play a supporting role in a post-conflict context where State institutions had been weakened.  For instance, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative was entrusted with playing guiding and coordinating roles.  Her Government provided financial support for the Office of Rule of Law of the United Nations Secretariat, including the Security Sector Reform Unit, and also supported the African Union’s framework for security sector reform and provided personnel through European Union missions.

VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said Governments had the sovereign right to carry out security sector reform, with international assistance carried out in agreement by the host country.  Reforms achieved in the initial stages could enhance citizens' trust in the authorities and prove decisive in national reconciliation efforts.  Countries often had limited resources to ensure security, which was why international assistance was needed, he said, recalling the need for agreement by the recipient State, and for respect for sovereignty and political independence.  Governments must define their priorities and coordinate the reform process.  The excessive imposition of the reform process must be avoided, as "strong mentoring" that bordered on intervention could cause harm.  A universal approach to reform would fail, including in the context of recurrent conflict situations, such as that in the Central African Republic.  Noting the Council's more frequent use of multidimensional mandates that included security sector reform, he said that a balanced approach increased the strength of national security structures.

OCTAVIO ERRÁZURIZ ( Chile) said the Peacebuilding Fund had resources that could be used for security sector reform or for police training.  The number of mandates that included security sector reform — which had increased from 14 in 2008 to 37 in 2012 — testified that such reform had become part-and-parcel of peacekeeping, conflict prevention and development.  Noting that Chile had extended technical assistance to the Haitian national police, he said States had the right to determine the national approach in the area of security sector reform.  Governments also must ensure adequate funding for implementation.  Processes must be inclusive, ensuring the participation of civil society, especially women, in the discussion and drafting of policies.  He also urged speedy access to national justice, as well as to the International Criminal Court, in line with the principle of complementarity.

GARY QUINLAN ( Australia) said that national ownership, with those authorities generating and driving strategic reform, was crucial to long-term success.  However, civil society needed to be involved, including women’s groups.  Measuring impact, with new ways to evaluate the real impact of reforms, including public confidence in security services, was also critical.  As well, because many reform initiatives had failed because of a narrow technical focus, the role of the Organization brought a holistic perspective across the sector, as seen in its Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), where comprehensive security sector review led to new legislation for the security and defence sectors.  In addition, effective tools, such as sanctions, required deeper cooperation between missions, sanctions committees and groups of experts.  United Nations mission personnel could help support rebuilding and reforming host-State policing, as policing was the public face of the security sector and the ones the population turned to for protection.

EUGÈNE-RICHARD GASANA ( Rwanda) said that more than two thirds of Security Council resolutions were on African conflicts.  The worst failure of those texts concerned protection of civilians.  History had witnessed that a weakness of national forces had led to the Governments being overthrown in such places as Libya and Rwanda.  His country had learned from its dark past.  Following the 1994 genocide, the Rwandan Patriotic Force had embarked on security sector reform, offering a good model for any polarized society.  Performance evaluation of professional personnel also helped strengthen its capacity.  Rwanda now contributed its troops to peacekeeping missions in Africa.  Security sector reform was essential to lasting peace and it must focus on three pillars:  national ownership, coordination and capacity-building.  The United Nations could support capacity-building outside its system, working closely with regional and subregional organizations.

MARÍA CRISTINA PERCEVAL ( Argentina) said her delegation had actively promoted security sector reform since the 2009 regional seminar on the topic and its participation in the Group of Friends in 2012.  She stressed that such reform had become an increasingly important element in multidimentional peacekeeping and political missions.  Only through dialogue and the establishment of the rule of law could there be long-term success.  Security sector reform was also closely linked to judicial reform.  The United Nations must take into account the priorities of those needing support, not enforcing solutions on States, which had the primary responsibility to carry out such reform.  She agreed with the Secretary-General on the important role regional organizations could play in supporting national efforts.  Innovative approaches included South-South cooperation.

MARK LYALL GRANT ( United Kingdom) said Sierra Leone and Timor-Leste were examples of how security sector reform, as part of efforts to boost the rule of law, were fundamental to growth.  In cases of relapse into conflict, security sector collapse was often a major contributor to the violence.  The challenge lay in advancing reform amid the collapse of State authority and contested political legitimacy.  The goal should be to help build capable, accountable security sectors with national ownership.  Efforts to stabilize the short-term situation should work alongside those to create the conditions for sustainable political settlement.  Missions must have clearer, better-sequenced mandates.  They could not de-link the efforts of good offices from security sector reform tasks.  Special Representatives should generate the political space for reform.  Finally, interventions must employ the full range of United Nations tools, including in the political, security and development spheres.  The Organization also should deepen partnerships with regional organizations.

OH JOON ( Republic of Korea) said that to support security sector reform more effectively, a review of strategies must focus on the importance of national ownership, which presupposed a degree of national unity.  Where animosity was not addressed through reconciliation and transitional justice, security sector reform could not be expected to produce that effect.  As such, the host Government must prioritize national reconciliation with a view to creating an environment conducive to reform.  Further, reforms must be pursued in the context of the rule of law and good governance, and must aim to strengthen security and judicial systems in a larger context.  Expressing hope the United Nations and host countries would seek maximum common understanding on the rationality for reform in a country-specific context, he said the scope of security sector reform continued to evolve.  The United Nations system-wide approach should be further developed, while regional and subregional organizations and donors should strengthen their partnerships.

LIU JIEYI ( China) said that there was a growing understanding of the importance of security sector reform, but the United Nations must address new challenges in offering assistance to countries emerging from conflict.  The Organization must respect national ownership and sovereignty.  There was no universally applicable formula and the United Nations must take into account the specific needs of each country.  Security sector reform was not a panacea, and therefore, it was important to integrate it into an overall development strategy.  Lasting peace could be achieved only through integrating security sector reform in a complementary fashion.  The United Nations could leverage its ability to coordinate, he said, citing the roles of the Peacebuilding Commission and the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations.  The Organization should also pay attention to the wealth of experience owned by regional and subregional organizations, such as the African Union, and support them through workshops and training.

RAIMONDA MURMOKAITĖ ( Lithuania) said that, while originally perceived as an element of peacekeeping exit strategies, security sector reforms were now viewed as an inseparable part of conflict prevention, peacebuilding and avoiding relapse into conflict.  Close links must be established between those reforms and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes, such as in the case of the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Programme, where former combatants could be offered alternative livelihoods.  Inclusive and accountable security sector reforms must also strengthen the social contract between the State and society, ensuring all parties to a conflict and all segments of society were involved in the process.  Exclusion of certain armed groups could seriously undermine overall peace efforts, as demonstrated in the Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire and South Sudan.  She also noted that blanket amnesties could undercut reform success, and instead, heighten perceived insecurities among local populations if perpetrators of crimes against humanity were integrated into new security and law and order structures.

IGOR LUKŠIĆ, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Montenegro, associating himself with the European Union, said security sector reform must take place within a comprehensive approach that aligned with the principles of democracy and the rule of law.  The issue must be considered through the "security and development" prism, in which threats were tackled through joint, integrated efforts across the spectrum of development, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, the rule of law and human rights.  To be transformative, reform processes must promote inclusiveness, which assumed the engagement of national and local authorities, parliaments, communities, civil society, academia and women's groups.  Montenegro had passed legislation to ensure its national security agency and intelligence service operated in line with international standards.  It also was implementing a cybersecurity strategy for the 2013-2017 period.

HANS BRATTSKAR, Deputy Foreign Minister of Norway, speaking on behalf of the Nordic countries, said human security must be at the core of efforts to deliver security sector reform within a framework of the rule of law, good governance and accountability.  Attaching great importance to the gender dimension in such work, he said the United Nations played a key role in assisting conflict-affected States.  It had made significant progress in strengthening its coherence and effectiveness through better cooperation between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.  He urged integrating security sector reform principles into engagement mechanisms, such as poverty reduction strategies, as well as enhancing the reform capacities of United Nations field missions.  Support must be better linked with broader transformative processes, such as reconciliation, political dialogue and mediation, and he encouraged increasing its importance as a priority in United Nations mission structures and operations.  He also encouraged the United Nations to develop its partnerships with the African Union and other regional organizations.

PETER BURIAN ( Slovakia) said his country, as founder and co-chair of the Group of Friends of Security Sector Reform, had forged partnerships between the Organization and regional groups, as well as civil society.  However, if the United Nations was to meet the growing requests for the coherent delivery of support, it needed to strengthen its internal capacities, including the Department of Peacekeeping Operations’ Security Sector Reform Unit.  The Organization needed to continue enhancing its coordination capacity through fostering a “Delivering as One” approach to supporting nationally led security sector reforms.  The Security Council needed to make such reform efforts an integral part of the Offices of the Secretary-General’s Special Representatives.  Lastly, through systematic monitoring and evaluation processes, resources could be allocated in the most effective, efficient and sustainable manner possible.  In that regard, he commended the Inter-Agency Security Sector Reform Task Force for developing a specific integrated technical guidance note on the matter.

NOZIPHO MXAKATO-DISEKO ( South Africa) said that a key political and practical challenge in supporting security sector reform was facilitating national ownership.  In that regard, she welcomed the development of integrated technical guidance on that issue by the United Nations Interagency Security Sector Reform Task Force.  Ownership should not stop at borders, as many challenges and opportunities were regional in nature.  Cooperation with regional and subregional organizations was critical in supporting security sector reform by local authorities.  The strategic partnership between the United Nations and the African Union was an expression of the important role the Organization could play on the continent.  She also recognized the role of the Peacebuilding Commission.  The Interagency Task Force and the Security Sector Reform Unit must be provided with necessary resources as they could provide technical expertise.

KUMAR MUKERJI ( India) said that almost 170,000 Indian peacekeepers had participated in 43 United Nations missions.  Only a few days ago, two Indian peacekeepers had been injured while protecting civilians in South Sudan, an incident that underlined the complex political environment, where security sector reform must take root.  He disagreed with a prescription mentioned in the concept note decrying an excessive focus on issues of training and equipment at the cost of democratic governance and management.  Given the importance of national ownership and the scarcity of resources, the priority should be given to issues such as ensuring impartiality in recruitment, vetting of new recruits and training.  A focus on the political dimension of police reform would only be controversial, and perhaps, counterproductive.

KAZUYOSHI UMEMOTO ( Japan) recalled that the concept note for today’s debate pointed out an excessive focus on “hardware” support relating to training and equipment versus “software” support.  On the latter, inclusivity in the security sector, particularly in rebuilding post-conflict States, was critical.  If the military and police were not seen as inclusive enough in the eyes of local people, that mistrust could easily lead to a relapse of conflict.  Japan had hosted a seminar on inclusivity with the United Republic of Tanzania and Slovakia last week.  The discussions suggested that the dimension of inclusivity should receive greater attention in the context of United Nations assistance in security sector reform.  Rather than focusing on the number and equipment of military and police personnel, greater commitment was needed in supporting an inclusive and nationally led process in designing, planning, and developing the security sector that local people could perceive as “their own”.

ANTONIO DE AGUIAR PATRIOTA ( Brazil) said unmet tasks related to the establishment of a democratic, accountable and stable security apparatus in post-conflict situations threatened peace and stability.  Security sector reform started with peace processes, ran through disarmament, demobilization and reintegration efforts, and continued in tandem with peacebuilding strategies into democratic development.  It was essential to integrate reforms early in peacemaking and reintegration efforts.  As such, the United Nations must consider the underlying components of conflict and sharpen its analytical tools accordingly in order to inform policy-setting and decision-making.  Reform involved difficult decisions on financing, recruiting and vetting on transitional justice, and shaping historical narratives, all of which must inform reform strategies.  He urged strong coordination on regional and subregional levels and ensuring that sector reform went hand in hand with the promotion of equality before the law.

GERT ROSENTHAL ( Guatemala) said States had the primary responsibility for security sector reform, led by national priorities.  There was no one-size-fits-all approach as that depended on culture, development and peoples' relationship with State institutions.  The United Nations had helped States build effective security systems, work that should continue to be promoted among all relevant stakeholders.  The United Nations, in cooperation with bilateral, regional and subregional partners, could provide technical assistance through peacekeeping operations when a country requested it in line with its needs.  He urged greater interaction with regional and subregional mechanisms, as well as broad security sector reform that was tied to development.  In that context, he recalled that the World Bank had noted that no low-income, fragile or conflict-affected country had achieved the Millennium Development Goals, suggesting that security was a prerequisite for ensuring an enabling environment.

THOMAS MAYR-HARTING, Head of the European Union Delegation, said that most of the European Union civilian and military crisis management missions involved training, monitoring and advising police, justice and military institutions in such countries as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali and Somalia.  Approximately €1 billion had been disbursed to that end with a focus on assisting partner Governments to provide legitimate and accountable security and justice services to their citizens consistent with democratic reforms and human rights.  Lessons learned included the need for a more strategic, comprehensive and coordinated approach with better knowledge of the local context, clear objectives and concrete, measurable benchmarks for assessing progress.

He said he supported the need for a better balance between service delivery and long-term institution and capacity-building.  Engagement with local non-State actors, dialogue between national authorities, communities and civil society on security-related challenges and monitoring by democratic oversight institutions, as emphasized in the Secretary-General’s report, were important.  Welcoming in women and marginalized groups in those reforms’ planning and implementing was also underscored.  The value of local ownership and the need for coordinated support between all stakeholders was critical and he commended the United Nations Group of Friends of Security Sector Reform for facilitating inclusive dialogue and fostering progress.

LEVENT ELER ( Turkey) said it was of utmost importance to approach security sector reform as part of an inclusive peacebuilding strategy, alongside a framework to strengthen the rule of law.  As such, the role of the Peacebuilding Commission, the Peacebuilding Support Office and the Peacebuilding Fund was crucial in helping Governments implement a credible strategy.  Activities must address the needs of all citizens in an inclusive manner, while collaboration with regional and subregional organizations, and civil society was essential to make optimal use of scarce resources.  Detailing national efforts, he said that Turkey had "robust" security cooperation with Afghanistan, Somalia and other countries in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, providing technical assistance and law enforcement training.  More broadly, he said reform solutions would be viable only when applied within a peacebuilding framework which included the humanitarian, development, democratization and governance spheres.

OSAMA ABDELKHALEK MAHMOUD (Egypt), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, emphasized that national ownership was not only a prerequisite for security sector reforms, but “the backbone of any viable [security sector reform] programme”.  National ownership and international support considerations should not be seen as competing with each other.  Further, reforms could not be pursued in isolation from complex challenges, such as countries emerging from conflict, youth unemployment, and the lack of adequate education and health services, among others.  Expanding reforms to encompass all challenges in one single process needed to be avoided, and international support had to be anchored in broader national institution-building efforts which were aimed at the unique circumstances of countries emerging from conflict.  Pointing out the Council’s limited membership, he called for the development of a United Nations strategy to take place in the General Assembly in order for such reforms to be conducted through an inclusive intergovernmental process guaranteeing full participation of the Organization’s wider membership and reflecting the sovereign right of countries to determine their national priorities.

JIM MCLAY ( New Zealand) said security sector reform was often a complex, politically charged process, entailing significant risk, but in some situations, it could represent the single most important investment that international partners could make in a country's future.  His country was an active contributor to security sector reform, particularly in the justice sector, both bilaterally and through United Nations missions.  That experience offered valuable lessons about managing difficult transitions from providing security sector reform programmes through peacekeeping missions to longer-term assistance through bilateral support.  As a case in point, he cited his nation's policing assistance to Timor-Leste after the withdrawal of the United Nations mission in 2012.

HUSSEIN HANIFF ( Malaysia) said that, while the importance of national ownership reigned above all, he was aware that security sector reform would require financial resources.  The training of personnel, the development of skills, the formulation of legal framework and the building of national security infrastructure required substantial funding, which must be available to ensure the success of such reform.  Having sufficient funding alone might be half the solution.  Capacity and expertise were also important aspects.  Countries emerging from conflict could learn from successful experiences.  South-South cooperation in identifying civilian experts would be beneficial when developing a system-wide security sector reform.

MARGUS KOLGA ( Estonia) said that his country's record in reforming its security sector could be taken as an example of success.  Following the end of the Soviet occupation, his nation had faced the enormous task of building up a society based on principles and values different from those of the totalitarian system, a society based on democracy.  That meant vigorous institution-building, adherence to good governance, strengthening of rule of law, and placing human beings at the centre of development.  Security sector reform had become a genuine part of that process.  Estonia had started to emerge when it had understood that reforms had been for its own good, not for that of someone else.  For the last 10 years, his Government had shared that experience to support other countries in their security sector reforms.  To share United Nations efforts, it had decided this year to make its first-ever contribution to the Peacebuilding Fund.

GHOLAMHOSEIN DEHGHANI (Iran), speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, recalled that, in 2012, the Heads of State and Government of the group, noted in the outcome document of their summit in Tehran the importance of security sector reform.  They stressed that such reform should be integrated in the broad framework of the Organization's rule of law activities, thus ensuring that those reform activities and structures were not duplicating the work carried out by in the rule of law area.  The Movement felt that the development of a United Nations approach to such reform must take place in the General Assembly to ensure that the formulation of strategies, including its scope and mandate, was carried out through the widest possible intergovernmental process.

KAREL JAN GUSTAAF VAN OOSTEROM ( Netherlands) said security sector reform must not be seen separately from the rule of law.  Security forces, operating within the framework of the law, must be accountable to civilian authorities.  The civilian perspective must be the focus of such reforms to ensure not only State security, but human security, as well, was delivered.  Further exploration of the link between reforms and international or transnational crime, was also necessary; such crime was attracted to regions with weak governance and poor security institutions.  Her country supported the development of the system-wide approach of the Organization to reforms, in particular with enhanced cooperation between UNDP and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations through funding of security sector reform projects in the fields.

MASOOD KHAN ( Pakistan) said his country had supported security sector reform in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Timor-Leste, noting that United Nations-led efforts had dramatically transformed the security landscape in those countries.  The system-wide institutionalization for security should be strengthened, building on capacities in field and at Headquarters to exploit the comparative advantages of the Organization.  The peacebuilding architecture played a complementary role in promoting reform objectives, with the General Assembly contributing directly to policy formulation.  The United Nations needed strong partnerships and he welcomed the Council's consultations with the African Union and subregional organizations.  Implementation often suffered due to inadequate and untimely resources and he urged that adequate, predictable resources be allocated.

ABDOU SALAM DIALLO ( Senegal) said the implementation of security sector reform was complex, as it was linked to the need to convince military and paramilitary to "re-dimension" security forces and mobilize resources to ensure that the process had a chance for success.  Increasing the operational capacity of defence forces, law enforcement and immigration administration must respect the rule of law, as well as take into account transnational threats, especially the trafficking in persons and weapons.  Reform must be rooted in the triangle of political consultations, national reconciliation and social and economic recovery.  As such, he called for partnerships with regional organizations, such as the African Union, and subregional groups, stressing that civil society should be included in the development of an integrated coherent and coordinated approach.

YUSRA KHAN (Indonesia), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that his country’s security reform process had been driven by political reforms towards democracy, beginning with separating military from politics and making a clear distinction between the country’s armed forces and its police.  That process reaffirmed the imperative for national ownership, as well as civil society consultation.  In light of that, among several remarks, he said security sector reforms should be focused on post-conflict contexts.  The Council should involve host States at the earliest stage of creating a missions’ mandate.  In addition, the Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund could also play a role in ensuring a more predictable and sustained funding for such reforms.  Regional networks between like-minded countries were vital to understanding local culture and could enable programmes that supported security sector reforms.  Because security sector reform was a long-term process it should not be rushed.

OLIVIER MARC ZEHNDER ( Switzerland) shared the view of the Secretary-General that security sector reform must be considered from a broader context of peacebuilding.  Discussions must explore links between security sector reform, on one hand, and rule of law, protection of human rights, development and partnership.  It was particularly important to ensure that security sector reform was inclusive.  The Council debate last Friday on women, peace and security reaffirmed that point.  Given the global reach of the Organization, it could assist in such efforts to develop common standards and technical guidelines.  Collaboration with regional organizations was also essential.  Switzerland, which assumed the 2014 presidency of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), pledged its support at both political and technical levels.  The resolution before the Council would provide a supplemental momentum for security sector reform, he said, calling for adequate resources to support the activities of the United Nations.

INIGO LAMBERTINI ( Italy), associating himself with the European Union, emphasized that countries had the sovereign right and the primary responsibility to determine their national approach and outline their priorities.  At the same time, States and the international community as a whole should enhance efforts to promote inclusiveness in reform processes, bringing in civil society and vulnerable groups.  His country had demonstrated long-standing support around the world on both the national and international platform.  He was particularly proud of the role of the Center of Excellence for Stability Police Units based in Vicenza which would soon share headquarters with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Stability Policing Centre of Excellence.  The Center operated as a doctrinal hub and training centre, developing policy and common operational procedures, and teaching operational planning, rules of engagement and international humanitarian law to personnel from all over the world.

ROMÁN OYARZUN MARCHESI ( Spain) said that it was crucial to have instruments that allowed national authorities and their international partners to carry out appropriate follow-up and evaluation of adopted actions.  He highlighted the recent initiative of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), in which indicators had been developed to measure the evolution of police, legal and penitentiary institution functioning in countries facing conflict and post-conflict situations.  Spain was in collaboration with the African Union, supporting the African Peace and Security Architecture and the Common Security and Defence Policy, as well as the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism.  In Latin America, it actively supported the Central American Strategy Security, among others, and in Arab countries, had promoted the Masar Programme since 2010.

SABRI BOUKADOUM ( Algeria) said since the concept of security sector reform was introduced in the context of identifying peacekeeping exit strategies, it had evolved to become a core component of the Organization’s engagement across peacekeeping, peacebuilding and development contexts.  Successful reform was vital for establishing lasting peace and stability, he said, noting that it should focus on accountability, inclusivity and effective management and oversight.  While progress had been made, the protracted conflicts, emerging threats and complex crises witnessed in the world today required innovative and flexible responses from the United Nations.  Much work remained to be done by enhancing system-wide coherence and coordination and forging regional and subregional partnerships.  The role of the Council was crucial in providing strategic guidance and defining the institutional priorities of the Organization.   Any development of a United Nations approach to security sector reform must take place within the General Assembly and in accordance with the principle of national ownership.

KAIRAT ABDRAKHMANOV ( Kazakhstan) said security sector reform had been gaining increasing importance for addressing war-torn areas and countries emerging from conflict in Africa.  It was critical to know the newer forms and patterns of conflicts and insecurities, he said, given that immediate, medium- and long-term plans could only be based on understanding the root causes.  Far-sighted and comprehensive reform should be linked to the demobilization, disarmament and reintegration process.  However, reform was only possible by providing adequate modern training and upgrading institutions.  Those overall efforts together called for strengthening the capacity and political will of national authorities and institutions with context-specific policies.  Special consideration should be given to regional and international non-State actors interacting with governmental authorities.  It was obvious, he said, that new partnerships, from regional to international, should be explored.  At the same time, national ownership of security sector reform must be democratic and representative.

EDITA HRDA ( Czech Republic) said that security sector reform was a key step in the transition from conflict to sustainable development.  It had emerged as a relevant concept to address core deficiencies of a State with the aim of improving “State security”, and in a wider sense, “human security”, that was to say the security of every single human being within the society.  She welcomed the creation of the Security Sector Reform Task Force, which covered all important departments of the United Nations Secretariat and its programmes.  She stressed the active participation of Czech experts in the European Union’s Common Security and Defence Policy missions whose mandates included security sector reform in such places as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Afghanistan, Horn of Africa and Mali.

RAMADHAN MWINYI (United Republic of Tanzania) reiterated several key issues he thought were absolutely important in advancing security sector reform, not only in societies emerging from conflicts, but also in other developing countries.  First, it was important that the concerned countries take full ownership of the process.  To attain the requisite legitimacy, the process must involve all stakeholders, including youth, women, traditional leaders, religious leaders and civil society.  It should also involve former combatants after peace talks had been exhausted, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration had been accomplished, and justice had been administered.  Post-conflict countries undertaking security sector reform must be assisted until they achieved the capability to support themselves.  The past five decades had evidently demonstrated the importance of regional actors in conflict prevention, resolution, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2151 (2014) reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Reaffirming its primary responsibility under the Charter of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security,

Stressing that reforming the security sector in post-conflict environments is critical to the consolidation of peace and stability, promoting poverty reduction, rule of law and good governance, extending legitimate State authority, and preventing countries from relapsing into conflict, and further stressing that, in this regard, a professional, effective and accountable security sector and accessible and impartial law enforcement and justice sectors are equally necessary to laying the foundations for peace and sustainable development,

Recalling the sovereign right and the primary responsibility of the country concerned to determine the national approach and priorities of security sector reform and recognizing that it should be a nationally owned process that is rooted in the particular needs and conditions of the country in question and encouraging the development of expertise in the field of security sector reform at the national level,

Recognizing that the political leadership and political will of national authorities are critical for the progress of security sector reform and reaffirming the lead role of national authorities in developing an inclusive national vision for security sector reform, coordinating the implementation of the vision, dedicating national resources towards national security institutions, and monitoring the impact of the security sector reform process,

Recalling the statements by its President of 21 February 2007 (S/PRST/2007/3), 12 May 2008 (S/PRST/2008/14) and 12 October 2011(S/PRST/2011/19), and noting with appreciation the report of the Secretary-General entitled “ Securing States and societies: strengthening the United Nations comprehensive support to security sector reform” (S/2013/480) of 13 August 2013,

Recalling reports of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations of the General Assembly, which have provided guidance to the United Nations Secretariat on the subject of security sector reform and the development of a United Nations approach to security sector reform,

Expressing concern at the range of challenges that weak and dysfunctional security institutions pose, including impairing the ability of the State to extend public security and rule of law within its boundaries, and noting that good governance and oversight of the security sector is important in ensuring that security institutions are capable of protecting the population, and further noting that failure to address operational and accountability deficits can undermine the positive gains of peacekeeping and necessitates the return of peacekeeping and special political missions in previous areas of operation and recognizing that effective security sector reform processes have been an important element of the stabilization and reconstruction of some post-conflict countries,

Reaffirming that an effective, professional and accountable security sector without discrimination and with full respect for human rights and the rule of law is the cornerstone of peace and sustainable development and is important for conflict prevention,

Recalling that the bulk of Security Council-mandated United Nations assistance in the area of security sector reform takes place in, and is directed to, countries in Africa and that a number of African countries are becoming important providers of such assistance,

Noting the support provided by bilateral actors, as well as regional actors, including the European Union, to security sector reform efforts and other initiatives in the area of security sector reform, in particular in Africa, and stressing the importance of coordination as appropriate between the different actors involved in supporting security sector reforms through bilateral contributions and emphasizing the role United Nations peacekeeping operations or special political missions can play in enhancing this coordination,

Recognizing the centrality of security sector reform as a key element of peacekeeping and special political mission mandates, noting the increasing number and complexity of mission mandates on security sector reform, and emphasizing the importance of the United Nations, including through its peacekeeping operations and special political missions, supporting national Governments, upon their request where appropriate, to develop security institutions that are accessible and responsive to the needs of their population and the important role of the Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund in supporting security sector reform,

Recalling the important role that the United Nations has played in supporting national efforts to build sustainable security institutions and commending the efforts of the United Nations, in particular the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, including the Security Sector Reform Unit and the United Nations Inter-Agency Security Sector Reform Task Force, in further strengthening a comprehensive United Nations approach to security sector reform, through the development of guidance and civilian capacities, coordination mechanisms, and collaboration with regional and subregional organizations, in particular the African Union,

Underlining the importance of the close coordination of the range of United Nations Security Sector Reform activities, both at Headquarters and in the field, in particular between Security Council-mandated missions and the United Nations Country Team, as appropriate, and encouraging relevant United Nations entities mandated for security sector reform activities to work through the existing coordination mechanisms, as appropriate,

Acknowledging the necessity for the United Nations to balance its support for the reform of individual components of the security sector, which in some contexts include defence, police, corrections, and border and immigration services, with sector-wide initiatives that address strategic governance, management and oversight aspects in order to ensure their long-term sustainability based on the particular needs and conditions of the country in question,

Reiterating the importance of the rule of law as one of the key elements of conflict prevention, peacekeeping, conflict resolution and peacebuilding and reiterating the statement by its President of 21 February 2014 (S/PRST/2014/5), and recalling that security sector reform must take place within a broad framework of the rule of law, and noting in this regard the contribution that effective, professional and accountable police services, that provide security to the population, can make in building trust between State authorities and communities and restoring the rule of law in post-conflict countries,

Reaffirming its commitment to address the impact of armed conflict on women and children, and recalling its resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013) and 2122 (2013) on women, peace and security, resolutions 1265 (1999), 1296 (2000), 1674 (2006), 1738 (2006) and 1894 (2009) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, as well as resolutions 1261 (1999),1612 (2005), 1882 (2009), 1998 (2011), 2068 (2012) and 2143 (2014) on children and armed conflict,

Recognizing that security sector reform constitutes a key element of the political processes of States recovering from conflict and of the strengthening of the rule of law institutions,

Recognizing the interlinkages between security sector reform and other important factors of stabilization and reconstruction, such as, but not limited to, transitional justice, disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration as well as long-term rehabilitation of former combatants including in particular women and children, national small arms and light weapons management, arms embargo implementation, reduction of armed violence, organised crime and anti-corruption measures, protection of civilians, including in particular women and children, as well as gender equality and human rights issues,

“1.   Reaffirms the importance of security sector reform in the stabilization and reconstruction of States in the aftermath of conflict and resolves to continue to include and prioritise, as appropriate, security sector reform aspects as an integral part of the mandates of United Nations peacekeeping operations and special political missions;

“2.   Reiterates the centrality of national ownership for security sector reform processes, and further reiterates the responsibility of the country concerned in the determination of security sector reform assistance, where appropriate, and recognizes the importance of considering the perspectives of the host countries in the formulation of relevant mandates of United Nations peacekeeping operations and special political missions;

“3.   Encourages Member States undertaking reform to take the lead in defining an inclusive national vision on security sector reform, informed by the needs and aspirations of the population, and acknowledges the important role of the United Nations, including its Peacebuilding Commission, and Member States, regional and subregional organizations in assisting States in this regard;

“4.   Recognizes that security sector reform needs to be in support of, and informed by, broader national political processes, inclusive of all segments of the society, including the participation of civil society, that lay the foundations for stability and peace through national dialogue and reconciliation efforts, and resolves to link security sector reform to such efforts;

“5.   Stresses that security sector reform is critical to addressing impunity for violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, where applicable, and contributes to the rule of law;

“6.   Encourages Member States, when undertaking security sector reforms, to mainstream child protection, such as the inclusion of child protection in military training and standard operating procedures, as well as in military guidance as appropriate, the establishment of child protection units in national security forces, of effective age assessment mechanisms to prevent underage recruitment, of vetting mechanisms to ensure that those responsible for violations and abuses against children are not included in the ranks of national security forces and of measures to protect schools and hospitals from attack and to prevent the military use of schools in contravention of applicable international law;

“7.   Stresses the importance of security sector reform, which better integrates policing, defence, border management and security, maritime security, civil protection, and other relevant functions, including through the development of professional, accessible, and accountable policing capabilities that strengthen community resilience, as well as the institutions responsible for their oversight and management, and urges the effective integration as regards sector-wide and component levels of United Nations support both at Headquarters and in the field, as appropriate;

“8.   Stresses the importance of the relevant bodies of the United Nations undertaking mission planning processes for security sector reform, where mandated, that gives full consideration to supporting national security sector reform efforts, taking into account the specific needs of the host country, and collaborating with other relevant international and regional actors providing security sector reform assistance to the national government;

“9.   Underlines the importance of strengthening support for sector-wide initiatives that aim to enhance the governance and overall performance of the security sector and address the foundations upon which security institutions in each component area are built, such as through support to national security dialogues; national security sector reviews and mappings; national security policy and strategy; national security legislation; national security sector plans; security sector public expenditure reviews; and national security oversight, management and coordination;

“10.  Underlines that the management of a transition from a peacekeeping operation or special political mission in relation to its security sector reform activities should be based upon a timely analysis, in consultation with the host country, of any assistance beyond the duration of the mandate to enable peacebuilding and development actors to undertake the necessary strategic planning and fundraising, working in close partnership with the national authorities, and to transfer skills and expertise to host country officials and experts as quickly as possible in order to ensure a successful and durable transition;

“11.  Notes that the United Nations is particularly well positioned to support and coordinate sector-wide reforms as necessary in specific situations and has broad experience as well as comparative advantages in this area working in close collaboration with relevant international and regional actors, and encourages Member States to continue to be engaged and to facilitate strategic discussions on strengthening the United Nations approach in this critical area, including through the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations of the General Assembly and the Peacebuilding Commission;

“12.  Notes the important role that United Nations police can play in supporting, and coordinating international support for, reform of national police institutions and building police capacity in a comprehensive way that emphasizes a community-oriented approach and inter alia builds strong governance, oversight and accountability mechanisms within the framework of a functional judicial and corrections system;

“13.  Recognizes the need for the United Nations peacekeeping operations and special political missions with relevant mandates and the Inter-Agency Security Sector Reform Task Force to further strengthen the monitoring and evaluation of United Nations security sector reform initiatives with the aim of ensuring the effectiveness, coordination and coherence of the support provided by the United Nations to national Governments;

“14.  Encourages Member States to provide voluntary support to security sector reform efforts, including at a sector-wide level, in accordance with the priorities set forth by national authorities;

“15.  Resolves to continue to promote the role of the United Nations Secretariat in supporting security sector reform, and requests the Secretary-General to consider undertaking the following in the context of relevant country-specific mandates:

(a)   Strengthen the comprehensive approach of the United Nations in security sector reform;

(b)   Develop additional guidance for relevant United Nations officials, including for Special Representatives of the Secretary-General and Envoys, and assist relevant senior United Nations management to understand how to deliver mandated security sector reform tasks;

(c)   Encourage the Secretary-General’s Special Representatives and Envoys to fully take into account the strategic value of security sector reform in their work, including through their good offices, where mandated;

(d)   Highlight in his regular reports to the Security Council on specific United Nations operations mandated by the Security Council, updates on progress of security sector reform, where mandated, in order to improve Security Council oversight of security sector reform activities;

(e)   Continue to develop integrated technical guidance notes and related training modules, as well as other tools as appropriate, to promote coherent and coordinated United Nations support to security sector reform, and develop modalities for joint delivery of assistance to national reform efforts;

(f)   Ensure that assistance related to security sector reform takes into account the operation of Security Council-mandated arms embargoes, where applicable, including the availability of exemptions to such embargoes specifically intended to support security sector reform;

“16.  Underlines the importance of partnerships and cooperation with regional and subregional arrangements and organizations, in accordance with Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter, and in supporting security sector reform, as well as fostering greater regional engagement;

“17.  Encourages the Secretary-General to continue to promote cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union, consistent with the framework agreement for the 10-year capacity-building programme for the African Union, towards its efforts to strengthen its continent-wide policy framework for security sector reform, informed by and in support of the African Peace and Security Architecture, and further encourages all partners to continue to assist the African Union in building its capacities in this regard;

“18.  Reiterates the importance of sharing experiences and expertise on security sector reform among Members States and regional and subregional organizations, and in this regard encourages a deepening of South-South exchange and cooperation;

“19.  Underscores the importance of women’s equal and effective participation and full involvement in all stages of the security sector reform process, given their vital role in the prevention and resolution of conflict and peacebuilding, and in strengthening civilian protection measures in security services, including the provision of adequate training for security personnel, the inclusion of more women in the security sector, and effective vetting processes in order to exclude perpetrators of sexual violence from the security sector;

“20.  Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.