NEW YORK, October 12, 2011
Thank you Mr. President,
Canada would like to thank Nigeria for providing this opportunity to discuss security sector reform in the context of the African continent. SSR is a process through which a country seeks to establish effective, accountable and representative security institutions that carry out their legitimate functions in a manner consistent with democratic norms and sound governance principles. A number of countries on the African continent continue to face forms of insecurity that damage the lives of their people. SSR is an important lens through which African states can develop strategies to transform their security sectors.
On this note, allow me to make a few brief comments.
Canada actively contributes to initiatives within the UN and has extensive experience in assisting states to reform their security systems. Our assistance is a multifaceted, whole-of-government effort. We have engaged in activities through project financing, policy development and the deployment of personnel, including experts and advisors, working in areas such as governance, justice, policing, border management, corrections and military. We currently contribute to several of the UN's African missions, including MONUSCO and UNMISS, in related fields.
Additionally, Canada supports strengthening the ability of the United Nations to implement SSR activities coherently across different programmes and funds. We give support to an in- house capacity strengthening initiative through the UN SSR Interagency Task Force. This initiative is meant to assist members of the Task Force in such areas as training and technical support in the field and through the development of technical guidance notes. As a donor, Canada supports better whole-of-system coherence, in particular by working through and coordinating with the UN SSR Task Force.
Canada concurs that the Security Council should emphasize on-going inclusion, wherever appropriate, of security sector reform in the future planning of United Nations operations in Africa. For example, as a member and configuration Chair on the UN Peacebuilding Commission, Canada notes that security and related justice reform is a priority in all six of the Commission’s agenda countries. The PBC is developing valuable on-the-ground experience that can be called upon to help inform Security Council mandate development and UN system transition planning.
Canada concurs that assistance from international donors must be anchored by national ownership and the commitment of all involved parties. In particular, it is imperative that the political will of the reforming state buttress these initiatives. A state's political environment must be considered when planning SSR initiatives to ensure that the milieu is conducive to reform and that efforts to support the government and civil society will have an opportunity to succeed.
Finally, Canada welcomes the call for an assessment of UN SSR support, including those efforts in Africa. The assessment should specifically examine opportunities to strengthen UN Inter-Agency coordination, including the Agency's role of donor coordination. In addition, it should examine ways to increase UN SSR capacity, both at UN Headquarters and its Regional Offices.
In conclusion, Mr. President, we encourage ongoing Security Council discussions concerning security sector reform capabilities. Ultimately, sound SSR policy and practices could assist in promoting regional and continental peace and security in Africa.