Statement by Mr. Levent Eler, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Turkey at the Security Council Open Debate on Security Sector Reform

Levent Eler 28.04.2014

Mr. President,

We thank the Nigerian Presidency for organizing an open debate on this important issue, and we look forward to the first-ever stand-alone resolution on security sector reform.

One of the most important questions on post-conflict peacebuilding relates to the ways and means to ensure the viability of peace. Security sector reform lies at the core of this debate. A mismanaged and dysfunctional security sector can significantly challenge sustainable development, stability and peace.

On the other hand, a comprehensive, coherent and coordinated approach to security sector reform will help form functional, effective and economically viable states. As such, approaching security sector reform as part of a comprehensive and inclusive peacebuilding strategy and coupling the efforts with the broader framework of strengthening the rule of law is of utmost importance. Also, support to the security sector, especially in terms of resources, training and institutional capacity-building should continue after the termination of peacekeeping operations, if needed.

The role of the Peacebuilding Commission, the Peacebuilding Support Office and the Peacebuilding Fund in security sector reform is crucial in assisting national authorities to define and implement a credible security reform strategy.

Every society has its own particular structures, needs and experiences with conflict. The experience of the past 20 years has shown that ¨one size fits all¨ approaches do not produce viable results. It should be the primary responsibility of the host country to define the shape and direction of security sector reform.

On the other hand, the norms and principles that have been developed by the UN and elaborated in the Secretary-General's reports and UN documents provide a general framework that should be taken into account in security sector reform. Rule of law and human rights standards are of particular importance here.

While governments have the central role to play, SSR activities must be extended to include the broader population and ensure the needs of all citizens in an inclusive manner. In addition, collaboration with all relevant stakeholders, including regional and sub-regional organizations, domestic stakeholders and civil society is essential to prevent duplication and to make optimal use of scarce resources.

Needless to say, it is necessary to sufficiently address the root causes of conflicts, the solutions of which lie at the very heart of communities and groups, in terms of their aspirations and legitimate wishes. Political reconciliation among the parties in a conflict, through mediation, negotiation and facilitation as the main instruments, are among the primary methods to be employed in the peace building endeavor.

Mainstreaming gender issues and ensuring women’s participation in security sector reform, as well as the more general peace processes and conflict resolution, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, recovery and mediation efforts is of utmost importance.

Mr. President,

Turkey prioritizes security sector reform activities as part of its global engagement for peace. Turkish peacekeepers continue to serve in various UN, NATO and EU missions across the globe, including in Afghanistan, Africa, the Balkans and the Middle East, where they contribute to the training of security personnel as well as capacity- and institution-building of military and security forces.

In the same vein, Turkey has robust security cooperation particularly with Afghanistan, Somalia and other countries in Africa, Middle East and Central Asia on a wide range of issues, from providing technical assistance and strengthening civilian and law enforcement institutions, to providing training courses to law enforcement officials. Bilateral agreements have been signed with a large number of countries including Iraq, DRC, South Sudan, Somalia, Mongolia, Libya, the Ivory Coast, as well as many other countries in Southeastern Europe, Central Asia and Africa, on various aspects of support to security reform.

Training is prioritized by Turkey. Between 1997 and 2013, more than 20 thousand foreign law enforcement officials from 54 countries, mainly from Africa, Middle East and Central Asia, benefitted from various professional and vocational training courses held by Turkish National Police. The Police Vocational Training Center in Sivas, which has trained more than 1.500 Afghan National Police Cadets since 2011 is only one example. Likewise, hundreds of police officer candidates from various countries attended graduate or undergraduate studies at Turkish Police Academy.

Turkish International Academy Against Drugs and Organized Crime (TADOC), established in cooperation with UNODC, has been playing an important role in boosting the regional efforts in combatting drug trafficking and organized crime through its training and capacity building programs to the countries in need.

Solutions in the field of security sector reform can be viable, only if they are applied within a comprehensive framework of peacebuilding, comprising of several elements in the humanitarian, development, democratization and governance fields. Turkey employs this comprehensive, multidimensional and synchronized approach in countries such as Somalia, Southeastern Europe and Afghanistan, enriching its efforts in the security area to include humanitarian aid, local development, construction of basic infrastructure, education, health and support to peace processes.

Mr. President,

Let me conclude by thanking the Nigerian Presidency, Member States and all relevant UN bodies that engage in conducting and enhancing the important practice of security sector reform.