December 4, 2007

Presentation of two reports concerning security sector reform in ICDS

On December 4 2007, the following reports on the security sector reform were presented at the International Centre for Defence

On December 4 2007, the following reports on the security sector reform were presented at the International Centre for Defence Studies (ICDS).
The report “Security Sector Reform: A Nordic-Baltic Agenda” (download as PDF) was introduced by the authors Karlis Neretnieks (FOI) and Riina Kaljurand (ICDS).
The report “Challenges and Prospects for Nordic-Baltic Security Sector Reform: The Western Balkans, Ukraine, Afghanistan and Sub-Saharan Africa” was introduced by the authors Dr Magnus Ekengren (Swedish National Defence College) and Carl-Einar Stålvant (SNDC).
The introductory remarks was made by Dr Philipp Fluri, Deputy Director of the Geneva centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF).

Brief survey of the reports

Security Sector Reform (SSR) is considered by NATO and the EU to be one of the most significant instruments and formats for security and defence co-operation. The question of co-ordination of security sector reform and development aid is also becoming ever more important because security is a precondition of development and democracy.
SSR involves the introduction of the principles of democratic governance, modernisation of the defence forces and other institutions dealing with security as well as increasing the efficiency of these institutions. In addition to that, the reforms encompass drafting of legislative acts, which are consistent with international law and support the reforms, and increasing civil control.
At the meeting of the Nordic and Baltic Ministers of Defence held in Stockholm on November 8, 2007, the Ministers discussed the proposals which were laid out in these reports concerning better co-ordination of defence and security related aid provided to transition democracies.
The reports offer an overview of the Nordic and Baltic defence aid projects aimed at transition democracies (Western Balkan countries, Ukraine and the Caucasus region), identify the common areas and make recommendations on how to enhance the coordination of collaboration.
The main problems related with security sector reforms are the following: there are many providers of aid, their activities overlap and there are no efficient measures to evaluate the performance or effects of certain projects.
If the Nordic-Baltic co-operation in sharing reform-related know-how was closer and more co-ordinated, the resources could be used more effectively, overlapping could be avoided and the harmonised message of the whole region could be amplified both in the target countries and on the international level – in the EU and NATO.

The presentation of the reports was followed by discussion (in English).

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