National Symposium on Security Sector Reform in Iraq Focuses on Sustainable Security Solutions
Baghdad, 08 June 2014 – The National Symposium on Security Sector Reform and Governance in Iraq was opened today at Al Nahrain Centre for Strategic Studies in Baghdad in the presence of senior Iraqi Government and United Nations officials. The Symposium will focus on presenting the lessons learned by the United Nations in supporting Security Sector Reform, and on discussing how future national security dialogue in Iraq could benefit from international experience. The event was organized by UNDP in partnership with the National Security Agency of Iraq.
“Exacerbated by regional tensions, terrorism, internal displacement of people, and persistent violence, Iraq is faced with security challenges that need to be tackled in a holistic manner”, stated in his opening remarks Nickolay Mladenov, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq. “Short-term approaches risk being focused only on tactical military interventions and are unlikely to deliver sustainable results without focusing on social inclusion”, he added.
In February, the Government of Iraq, with the Support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), initiated a process to develop a new National Security Strategy.
“This new strategy is an opportunity to reflect on the state of security sector governance in Iraq and to ensure that management and oversight of the security sector and security institutions are accountable to democratic, civil authorities”, Mr. Mladenov stressed, underlining that “it should also be seen as an opportunity for Iraq to pursue its commitments under international instruments such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and UN Security Council Resolutions pertaining to terrorism, Human rights and security sector reform”.
“Security forces in Iraq have a key role in protecting the rights of the people,” said Mr. Adnan al-Assadi, Acting Minister of the Interior, speaking on behalf of the Prime Minister. “The way they operate needs to incorporate human rights and international standards. The new national security strategy that is being developed will provide an opportunity to review and improve the delivery of security services" he assured.
The symposium on Security Sector Reform and Governance is organized at the request of Iraq’s National Security Advisor. It brings together renowned experts from the United Nations Inter-Agency Security Sector Reform Task Force as well as high level officials from a number of relevant Iraqi institutions. It is in line with the United Nations' commitment to continue supporting the Government of Iraq in its efforts towards establishing an effective, inclusive and accountable security sector.
Marc-Antoine Morel, Project Manager, Rule of Law, Security and Justice