The United Nations Office at Geneva and the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) jointly host an annual seminar. This collaboration is an example of how UNOG forms partnerships with external academic and research experts to draw and build on the available expertise.
Fourth joint UNOG-DCAF Seminar
Tuesday 31 October 2006
Security Sector Reform in Post-Conflict Peacebuilding:
a Closer Partnership between the United Nations and regional organizations
The fourth in the series of joint events, the seminar follows on from previous debates hosted by the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) and the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) on different aspects of post-conflict peacebuilding and security sector reform. These meetings have served to raise awareness of the complexities and challenges before the international community in this area and have produced practical proposals to inform and guide future efforts.
Reform of the security sector is critical for the provision of security, for development and for the promotion and protection of human rights in post-conflict peacebuilding. Reforming the security sector thus remains a central challenge in the international community’s peacebuilding efforts.
As United Nations peacekeeping and peacebuilding mandates have expanded, the Organization has become increasingly engaged in security sector reform (SSR) activities. Similarly, regional and sub-regional organisations have assumed an ever-more active role in implementing SSR and shaping the SSR agenda in their areas of operation.
Against this background, there is a growing interest within the United Nations system, and strong calls from the field, for the formulation of a comprehensive and coordinated approach to SSR to serve as a common orientation and planning tool. The recent experiences of regional organizations in implementing and codifying SSR are particularly valuable in this respect. The emerging comprehensive United Nations framework for SSR should, therefore, draw as much as possible on lessons learned, approaches and mechanisms of regional organisations.
The key objective of the seminar is to analyse United Nations approaches to SSR in post-conflict peacebuilding, examine regional experiences and to explore possible avenues for further interaction between the United Nation and regional organisations working on SSR issues. The discussions have fed into the ongoing debate on the international community’s peacebuilding challenge and helped towards the development of a comprehensive United Nations SSR framework.
The seminar was opened with a keynote address, followed by two panels.
Panel 1, under the title “Implementing Security Sector Reform in Post-Conflict Peacebuilding: Experiences on the Ground”, explored experiences in implementing security sector reform at the field level, United Nations approaches to security sector reform, including the emerging United Nations framework for security sector reform, and discussed the importance of the regional dimension of security sector reform.
Following on from these discussions, Panel 2 entitled “Towards a Closer Partnership between the United Nations and Regional Organisations” allowed panel members to analyse experiences of regional organizations in implementing and codifying security sector reform, address challenges and examine opportunities for closer cooperation between the United Nations and regional organisations in the field of security sector reform.
Following the presentations of each panel, a ‘question-and-answer’ session and a general informal exchange with the invited audience took place. These discussions were conducted under the Chatham House Rule to allow for a frank and open debate.
Permanent Missions, United Nations entities with a presence in Geneva, other intergovernmental organizations, representatives of civil society and prominent think tanks have been invited, and actively participated.
Participation is by invitation.