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Deputy UN chief urges greater national ownership, funding for security sector reform

Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson.
UN Photo/Amanda Voisard
Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson.

Deputy UN chief urges greater national ownership, funding for security sector reform

Peace and Security

United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson has urged greater national ownership and more funding towards security sector reform as part of an effort to strengthen the links between peace and security, development, and human rights.

“Security sector reform has become central to the work of the United Nations in reducing violence, addressing transnational organized crime, promoting human rights and contributing to overall stability,” Mr. Eliasson said addressing the high-level meeting of the Group of Friends of Security Sector Reform yesterday in New York.

In his speech, the Deputy UN chief highlighted Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s latest report on the topic, saying that security sector reform is focused simply on “making people’s lives safer”.

“Security sector reform mandates should reflect the national context, challenges and needs. National stakeholders should be directly consulted,” Mr. Eliasson said drawing on the report recommendations.

The UN can help to achieve this through its missions and country teams on the ground, the Peacebuilding Commission, and the inter-agency Security Sector Reform Task Force, he added.

The Security Council has increasingly tasked field missions with support to national sector reform.

In 2008, the 15-member body referred to security sector reform 14 times in its resolutions, while by 2012 the figure jumped to 37 references.

Mr. Eliasson also noted the importance of expanding partnerships, particularly between the UN and the African Union, to build capacity in Africa.

He also stressed the importance of matching expectations and mandates with resources, saying that good governance must guide how resources are mobilized and allocated on security sector reform.

On civilian capacity, the UN-Security Sector Reform Roster of Experts provides a global resource, he noted.

“We need to strengthen this tool even more,” said Mr. Eliasson, urging Member States to make use of the Security Sector Reform Roster and to put forward qualified candidates.