I thank the Assistant Secretary-General for Rule of Law and Security Institutions, Mr Zouev, and the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the African Union, Mr. Adeoye, for their presentations. I also welcome the presence of the Permanent Representatives of South Africa and Slovakia.
I would also like to thank Mozambique for having included this topic on the agenda. Today’s meeting allows us to address important elements contained the Secretary-General's report on security sector reform.
We appreciate the efforts undertaken by the Secretariat to develop a programme of action to implement resolution 2553, and recognize the initiatives undertaken by the African Union, as well as its member states, to build capacity in the field of security governance.
Switzerland considers security sector reform and governance as essential elements of peace, security and sustainable development. Beyond specific bilateral cooperation efforts, the cornerstone of our engagement in this field is the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF). This Centre has programmes reaching more than 70 states, and its contribution in the areas of governance and security sector reform is globally recognised.
Allow me to raise three points:
First, investing in effective, accountable and professional security institutions is investing in sustainable peace and conflict prevention. Any peace process redefines the balance of power in a society. This aspect must be fully taken into account in peace negotiations and must follow a clear implementation process mutually agreed by all stakeholders in order to avoid a re-emergence of tensions.
Second, supporting security sector reform strengthens the rule of law. The security sector must integrate the specific security needs of the population as a whole. The full, equal and meaningful participation of women in all institutions and in all decision-making, accountability and oversight mechanisms must therefore be ensured. It is in this spirit that Switzerland is engaged, for example, in The Gambia, in support of the Department of Immigration to improve the quality of services provided to local communities, reinforce management and accountability, and include a gender focus.
Third, UN peacekeeping operations and special political missions can play an important role in improving security governance. It is essential that this support is anchored in national political processes focused on building the capacity of security institutions. Regional and sub-regional instruments, such as the African Union's Policy Framework on Security Sector Reform, provide valuable information that should guide such efforts. Successful security sector reform is often a key factor enabling missions to reduce their presence and eventually withdraw. The Council should therefore strengthen mission mandates with regard to the role of security sector reform and encourage greater coordination between peace operations or political missions with UN country teams.
Resolution 2553 recognises that “a representative, responsive, efficient, effective, professional, and accountable security sector without discrimination and with full respect for human rights and the rule of law is the cornerstone of peace and sustainable development”. For this reason, Switzerland is committed to promoting good governance in the security sector as part of its priority to build sustainable peace.