Ambassador Smaïl Chergui, African Union (AU) Commissioner for Peace and Security, and Miroslav Lajcák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Slovak Republic, outline the challenges facing the implementation of security sector reform in Africa, and detail the progress to date.
Over the last decade or so, security sector reform (SSR) has become an important strand in the discussion around peace-building, development and conflict prevention. There is little dispute either over the important role that SSR can play in stabilisation and post-conflict reconstruction. In Africa, SSR gained political currency and policy recognition, galvanising, deepening, and often leading the underlying international agenda. One might ask then why effective and inclusive security and justice institutions, responsive both to states’ and to citizens’ needs, are often so rare. The answer points to a significant implementation gap in SSR, and therefore to the need to address fundamental shortcomings in four core areas: good governance, political commitment, capacity, and sustainability.
From the African Union to each of its member states, regional economic communities and other actors, African leading stakeholders in peace, security and development contributed to the global SSR debate, are advancing an African understanding of SSR. The AU Policy Framework on SSR was approved in January 2013, building momentum to the UN Security Council Resolution 2151 on SSR, which was approved the following year under Nigeria’s Presidency of the Security Council.
Ambassador Smaïl Chergui and Miroslav Lajcák
African Union (AU) Commissioner for Peace and Security and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Slovak Republic