News

UN Security Council Calls for Security Sector Reform in Africa

12 October 2011: Holding an open debate on security reform in Africa, the UN Security Council noted that although reform is a long-term process, it is vital to establish effective, professional and accountable security sectors that can be a cornerstone of peace and development in the region. The debate was held at UN Headquarters in New York, US, on 12 October 2011.

Citing that much of the international assistance received by Africa is in the area of security reform, the Council stressed that the reform process should: allow intra-African collaboration; be nationally owned; and be based on the particular needs and conditions of the countries. The States undertaking reform were urged to allocate national resources to ensure that any reform efforts undertaken are sustainable in the long term.

Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations, opening the debate on behalf of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, underlined that an ineffective and poorly-governed security sector is a major obstacle to achieving stability, poverty reduction, sustainable development and peacebuilding. He underscored that the African Union (AU) should be at the forefront of developing frameworks for reforms.

The Council highlighted the importance of regional frameworks as the foundation of reform efforts, and noted the growing importance of gender equality and including women in the process. The Council urged countries to develop sectors that are accessible and responsive to all citizens, including women and other vulnerable groups.

In addition, other regions were encouraged to establish partnerships for the exchange of information and examples of best practices. Members also urged reform that addresses broader societal challenges, particularly in post-conflict countries, including: youth unemployment; extreme poverty; and inadequate education and health services. [UN Press Release] [UN Security Council Summary]