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United Nations

The United Nations (UN) has been engaged in security sector reform (SSR) for over two decades, but efforts to develop a common, coherent and coordinated approach to SSR only began in 2006 with the initiative of the Republic of Slovakia to table SSR on the agenda of the UN Security Council. In parallel, the UN General Assembly and UN Security Council emphasized the importance of developing a UN system-wide approach to SSR. This resulted in the UN Secretary-General's report on "Securing peace and development: the role of the United Nations in supporting security sector reform" which was released in January 2008. The UN continues to contribute to SSR through both operational activities and policy development. DCAF has been, and continues to be, a key partner in these activities.

DCAF has provided significant support to developing the UN's emerging approach to SSR through policy research and guidance. Key projects have included:

DCAF has also provided significant advisory field support and training through its International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT). Recent projects include:

  • Reviewing SSR components of the peace process in El Salvador and Guinea-Bissau for the UN Department of Political Affairs (DPA)
  • Conducting capacity needs assessments and evaluations for UN policing deployments on behalf of DPKO
  • Mapping and assessing policing requirements in post-conflict settings and developing strategies to meet these requirements for DPKO's Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions (OROLSI)
  • Providing briefings, training and SSR sensitisation workshops for UN headquarters, field staff and consultants

DCAF also provides specialised expert support to UN programmes, funds and entities, including UNDP, the Office for the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR), the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and UN Women. Recent major projects include:

  • Developing a handbook for civil society organisations on public oversight of the security sector with UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre
  • Conducting an SSR needs assessment in the Pacific with UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre
  • Creating an online SSR training module for UNITAR's Peacekeeping Training Program
  • Producing an internal study on human rights and SSR for UN OHCHR
  • Working with UN Women on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and raising awareness on gender and SSR issues

For more information please see the UN factsheet.