The security sector reform is decisive to establish lasting peace - 20 August 2015 [fr]
Security sector reform - Statement by Mr. Alexis Lamek, Deputy Representative of France to the United Nations, Chargé d’affaires a.i. - Security Council - 20 August 2015
I thank you, Madam, for having organized this meeting on security sector reform (SSR). I also thank Mr. Titov, Ms. Bangura and Ms. Nakamitsu for their briefings.
I shall limit myself to making three observations. First, as many speakers before me have said, SSR is more of a political exercise than a technical one. It is decisive in post-crisis stabilization and consolidation, and requires significant work in the area of support to the host country. In post-conflict situations, security institutions must be established that are transparent, effective and fair and strive, within a system of good governance, to uphold democratic principles and human rights. Yet the national ownership of the host country, political will, ongoing and inclusive dialogue between those responsible for SSR, civil society and Governments are all essential if the process is to succeed.
The United Nations encounters difficulties when local authorities do not commit as firmly to SSR as called for in the relevant resolutions. We must never forget that, as I said, security sector reform is as much a political as a technical process. Its goals of rebuilding the national armed forces and internal security forces, as well as the judiciary and penal systems, are linked to the fundamental sovereign functioning of the State and the end game of reinstating a national system and a chain of command that restore security, belonging and confidence in the State by enshrining the protection of civilians and the upholding of human rights, all in line with fundamental democratic requirements.
This work is important in the context of the United Nations efforts to resolve disputes and establish lasting peace. It is often key to the exit strategies of peacekeeping or special political missions, as it allows for a transfer of operational responsibility for security to the host country. On the other hand, we know that incomplete or unsuccessful SSR can be a factor for tension or even relapse into violence. In undertaking these activities, United Nations missions need adequate resources adapted to every stage of a crisis. The Council tries to reflect that need in its approach to mandates. As we have just said, SSR is a delicate and often lengthy process. The United Nations has a role to play in improving the expertise of its missions and its access to local stakeholders. That, I believe, raises the question of the language spoken by the experts.
The United Nations can also enjoy close cooperation with other players on the ground, as in the case of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali and the European Union Training Mission in Mali. I stress that the adapted deployment of significant SSR resources is not always immediately necessary in peacekeeping operations. Such operations do not always need to play a direct operational role; instead, they may act as technical advisers, motivators and coordinators. Moreover, they cannot substitute for the role of local authorities, who must conduct a thorough analysis of needs and define the requirements of outside support.
Priorities and sequencing need therefore to be established. Among generally urgent measures, rehabilitating the police and gendarmerie services and restarting an integrated corrections chain of command are absolutely essential, as the Council noted in the Central African Republic. The Council can also identify certain priorities, as for example when it talks about the need for a rapid reaction military force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is for those reasons that France feels that peacekeeping efforts regarding SSR have to be sequenced and adapted to the phase of the crisis, as well as focused on several initial priorities that involve experts in sufficient numbers and qualifications, adjusted to the needs and capacities of the host country, in close cooperation with the numerous international actors, including the European Union, bilateral partners and other donors.
By way of conclusion, the Council must have at its disposal precise elements regarding the implementation of SSR programmes. In resolution 2151 (2014), we called for such coordination and for an increased role for the Council. Unfortunately, the Security Council is not always regularly or sufficiently well informed of progress in that field. I therefore reiterate our call for the Special Representatives of the Secretary-General to provide better details on those processes during their various briefings to the Council or in meetings of the Council with troop- and police- contributing countries. They must insist on an implementation strategy and, if necessary, on its linkage with disarmament, demobilization and reintegration measures by ensuring the effective of coordination with other United Nations organs and agencies, or even on the potential difficulties that they might encounter with the authorities of the host country. In that way, the Council should have at its disposal a regular analysis of results and improvements to be made. Successful SSR is a factor for stability and development for concerned countries, and thus a guarantee of success for the United Nations.