Thursday, November 28, 2013

African Union Holds Workshop on Security Sector Reform

Consultative Workshop to review AU SSR Operational Guidance Notes underway in Addis Ababa

November 27, 2013 International

AU USSRADIS ABABA – A four-day consultative workshop to review the African Union (AU) Security Sector Reform (SSR) Operational Guidance Notes (OGNs) is being held in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

The workshop which started on November 25 will run until November 28. Co-organised by the AU and the African Security Sector Network (ASSN), the meeting brings together SSR experts from representatives of the Liaison Offices of Regional Economic Communities (RECs), AU Member States, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and researchers.

The workshop is part of collaborative efforts to strengthen the partnership between the African Union, United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU) in the area of promoting Security Sector Reform in Africa.

This partnership is crucial for the effective implementation of the AU Policy Framework on SSR, adopted by African Leaders at 20th AU Summit in January 2013.

As part of the AU Security Sector Policy Framework, ASSN was commissioned by the UN Department for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the AU Commission to develop Operational Guidance Notes on:

1. Gender and Security Sector Reform;

2. Conducting a Security Sector Reform Needs Assessment; and,

3. the Development of Codes of Conduct for African Security Institutions.

The objective of the workshop is to have thorough consultations on these Guidance Notes and comment on them prior to a validation process that will render the documents suitable for field use. When validated, the Guidance Notes will be used by the SSR project team in the AU Peace and Security Department, as well as RECs and Member States, to operationalize the AU Policy Framework on SSR.

Opening remarks at the workshop were delivered by Dr Tarek Sharif, Head of the Defense and Security Division (DSD) in the AU Peace and Security Department; Professor Boubacar N’Diaye, Chair of the ASSN; Mr. Francesco Carboni, representing the European Union; and Ms Snezana Vuska-Coffman, representing the UN DPKO.

Dr. Tarek noted with appreciation that since 2009 the AU has received assistance for the promotion of SSR in Africa, from the UNDP, ASSN, Norway, the Netherlands and Luxemburg, adding that the current three-year project will improve the AU’s capacity to engage in SSR activities in support to its Member States.

The workshop is an important contribution towards facilitating AU SSR processes, which are central to the realization of the Common African Defense and Security Policy (CADSP) and are part of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA).

– African Union Commission.

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