I will deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic Countries: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland.
There can be no doubt that Security Sector Reform is fundamental for conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. Its importance is growing.
The absence of professional, sustainable and capable security and justice institutions is a major cause of conflict and relapse into conflict. It is also hampers conflict resolution, stabilisation, and longer-term peacebuilding. Lack of security and justice affects individuals in a profound way. It limits their aspirations, their potential and restrains their ability to lift themselves out of poverty. A well-functioning security and justice system is a pre-condition for development.
Effective delivery of services, within a framework of rule of law, good governance and accountability is essential in moving the SSR agenda forward. Human security must be at the core of these efforts. We attach great importance to the gender dimension in SSR and the combat of sexual violence.
The UN plays a key role in promoting SSR. We have long supported its normative work on SSR as well as UN assistance to member states – particularly in countries affected by violent conflict. We welcome the Report of the Secretary-General on SSR of last August.
The UN has made significant progress in strengthening its coherence and effectiveness in support of SSR. We welcome initiatives to strengthen the cooperation between UNDP and DPKO in this respect, such as the Global Focal Point. The Nordic countries congratulates the UN on its new policy on policing in peace operations. We will continue to support this effort, also in the African setting.
Integrating SSR principles into broader mechanisms for engagement such as civil service reforms, poverty reduction strategies, mediation, peace agreements and DDR design and implementation is necessary to ensure both the required political support for SSR and the right type of platform for medium to long-term initiatives.
We need to enhance SSR capacities of UN field missions. The Security Council is responsible for matching mandates and expectations with necessary resources.
Security sector reform is not just purely a technical activity. It is – in essence – about building confidence between the people and those entrusted to protect them. Support to security sector reform therefore needs to be better linked to broader transformative processes such as reconciliation, political dialogue and mediation. We therefore encourage elevating the importance of security sector reform as a strategic priority in UN mission structures and operations, including through the good offices function of senior UN officials
There will be no sustainable SSR without national ownership. Furthermore, we fully agree with the importance of strengthening also the regional ownership to SSR processes. We encourage the UN to develop further its partnerships with regional organisations such as the African Union. I take this opportunity to commend the AU and ECOWAS for their engagement in SSR, and we look forward to continued cooperation.
It is important to ensure that the right sets of skills are available across Government to support SSR-activities. The Nordic countries are considering how they can contribute to this end.
Lastly, I would like to stress the fact that SSR is not only affecting countries emerging from conflict. SSR is in fact relevant for any country. Review and reform of security and justice services should be an integral part of public policy and good governance in all countries.