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Background

DCAF is dedicated to making states and people safer, within a framework of democratic governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights.

What is DCAF

DCAF - Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance is dedicated to making states and people safer through more effective and accountable security and justice. Since 2000, the Centre has facilitated, driven and shaped security sector reform (SSR) policy and programming around the world.

Good security sector governance (SSG), based on the rule of law and respect for human rights, is a cornerstone of development and security. DCAF assists partner states in developing laws, institutions, policies and practices to improve the governance of their security sector through inclusive and participatory reforms based on international norms and good practices. In everything we do, DCAF adheres to the principles of impartiality, local ownership, inclusive participation and gender equality. DCAF also advises governments and international organizations in designing and implementing their own programmes for supporting states in developing their security sector governance.

DCAF creates innovative knowledge products, promotes norms and good practices, and provides legal and policy advice. DCAF supports capacity building of state, civil society and private sector stakeholders by providing access to independent expertise and information on Security Sector Governance and Reform (SSG/R). DCAF’s Foundation Council comprises 63 member states, the Canton of Geneva, and six permanent observers. Operational in more than 70 countries, DCAF is internationally recognized as a leading world centre of excellence for SSG and SSR. Headquartered at the Maison de la Paix, in Geneva, DCAF has field offices in Bamako, Banjul, Beirut, Brussels, Ljubljana, Ramallah, Skopje, Tegucigalpa, Tripoli and Tunis. DCAF employs more than 170 staff with a broad range of expertise from over 40 countries.

Mission and Values

DCAF is guided by the principles of impartiality, local ownership, people-first support and gender equality.

DCAF is devoted to making states and people safer, within a framework of democratic governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights.

DCAF works towards this ultimate objective by assisting partner states, and international actors supporting these states, to improve the governance of their security sector through inclusive and participatory reforms based on international norms and best practices, and in response to specific local contexts and challenges.

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Member States

  • ALBANIA ALBANIA

    (2000)

  • ARGENTINA ARGENTINA

    (2009)

  • ARMENIA ARMENIA

    (2002)

  • AUSTRIA AUSTRIA

    (2000)

  • AZERBAIJIAN AZERBAIJIAN

    (2002)

  • BELARUS BELARUS

    (2002)

  • BELGIUM BELGIUM

    (2004)

  • BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

    (2001)

  • BULGARIA BULGARIA

    (2000)

  • BURKINA-FASO BURKINA FASO

    (2009)

  • BURUNDI BURUNDI

    (2010)

  • CANADA CANADA

    (2003)

  • COTE D'IVOIRE CÔTE D'IVOIRE

    (2001)

  • CROATIA CROATIA

    (2001)

  • CYPRUS CYPRUS

    (2008)

  • CZECH REPUBLIC CZECH REPUBLIC

    (2000)

  • DENMARK DENMARK

    (2002)

  • ESTONIA ESTONIA

    (2000)

  • FINLAND FINLAND

    (2000)

  • FRANCE FRANCE

    (2000)

  • GENEVA GENEVA

    (2002)

  • GEORGIA GEORGIA

    (2001)

  • GERMANY GERMANY

    (2000)

  • GHANA GHANA

    (2011)

  • Greece (2002) GREECE

    (2002)

  • HUNGARY HUNGARY

    2000

  • INDONESIA INDONESIA

    2007

  • IRELAND IRELAND

    2000

  • ITALY ITALY

    2001

  • KYRGYZSTAN KYRGYZSTAN

    2011

  • LATVIA LATVIA

    2000

  • LEBANON LEBANON

    2007

  • LIECHTENSTEIN LIECHTENSTEIN

    2006

  • LITHUANIA LITHUANIA

    2000

  • LUXEMBOURG LUXEMBOURG

    2003

  • MACEDONIA (Republic of) MACEDONIA (Republic of)

    2000

  • MADAGASCAR MADAGASCAR

    2015

  • MALI MALI

    2011

  • MALTA MALTA

    2008

  • MOLDOVA MOLDOVA

    2002

  • MONGOLIA MONGOLIA

    2014

  • MONTENEGRO MONTENEGRO

    2006

  • NETHERLANDS NETHERLANDS

    2001

  • Niger NIGER

    2018

  • NIGERIA NIGERIA

    2000

  • NORWAY NORWAY

    2002

  • PHILIPPINES PHILIPPINES

    2011

  • POLAND POLAND

    2000

  • Portugal (2003) PORTUGAL

    (2003)

  • ROMANIA ROMANIA

    2000

  • RUSSIAN FEDERATION RUSSIAN FEDERATION

    2000

  • SENEGAL SENEGAL

    2011

  • SERBIA SERBIA

    2001

  • SLOVAK REPUBLIC SLOVAK REPUBLIC

    2001

  • SLOVENIA SLOVENIA

    2001

  • SOUTH AFRICA SOUTH AFRICA

    2001

  • SPAIN SPAIN

    2001

  • SWEDEN SWEDEN

    2001

  • SWITZERLAND SWITZERLAND

    2000

  • TUNISIA TUNISIA

    2011

  • TURKEY TURKEY

    2003

  • UKRAINE UKRAINE

    2000

  • UNITED KINGDOM UNITED KINGDOM

    2000

  • UNITED STATES UNITED STATES

    2000

DCAF Governance

DCAF's governance arrangements include a Foundation Council comprising the nominated representatives of DCAF's Member States and an International Advisory Board of international development, rule of law and security professionals.

The Foundation Council is the supreme body of the DCAF Foundation and comprises 63 member states including the canton of Geneva. The Bureau of the Foundation Council makes policy decisions in between formal sessions of the Foundation Council.

All of the internationally supported foundations established by the Swiss Confederation between 1995 and 2000 – the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) and the Geneva Centre for International Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), as well as DCAF – are strategic partners of the Swiss government and are accommodated together in the ‘Maison de la Paix’. Along with its sister centres GICHD and GCSP, DCAF is also managed by a multi-department steering committee in Bern.

Any nation with a demonstrable commitment to the democratic governance of the security sector is most welcome to join DCAF's governing board. By joining, nations do not automatically commit themselves to support DCAF financially: however, they are offered opportunities to influence and shape DCAF’s programming priorities not only at national, but also at regional and international levels.

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