Thank you, Mr. President, for convening this important debate and for the useful concept note you provided. We appreciate the leading role of Nigeria in shaping and promoting a deeper understanding of the critical issue of Security Sector Reform.
I would also like to thank the Secretary-General for his participation in this meeting and for his precious engagement in this matter, which has produced the report before us today. This document gives us a very clear picture of the state of art, clearly defines the challenges we face and suggests priority avenues of action for the future.
Italy aligns itself with the statement made by Greece on behalf of the European Union, and would like to make some remarks in a national capacity.
We attach vital importance to Security Sector Reform in countries emerging from conflict. The malfunctioning or mismanagement of this sector exposes society to “continual fear and danger of violent death,” making civilian life increasingly “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”
Max Weber famously defined the “State” as any “human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory.” In line with this traditional definition, the security sector is indeed the backbone of the modern State. We must realize, however, that the concept of security has long shifted from a State- and military-centric perspective to an approach that emphasizes human security and the legitimacy and effectiveness of the institutions that provide security and justice. The establishment of an effective, professional and accountable security sector is thus of crucial importance to reduce the potential for internal and external conflict, enhance the security of citizens and create the necessary conditions for development. The existence of a symbiotic, self-enforcing relationship between security and development has long been established in the literature on international relations and in the policies and practices of States.
Helping and supporting national authorities in their efforts to build an effective, democratically-run security sector is a long-term process. It must be carried out consistent with the overarching principle of national ownership: in fact, the countries concerned have the sovereign right and the primary responsibility to determine their national approach and to outline their priorities for security sector reform. At the same time, the States concerned and the international community as a whole should enhance their efforts to promote inclusiveness in the SSR process by bringing in civil society and vulnerable groups. A particularly critical element, in Italy’s view, is the involvement of women in the peace and security discussion and their participation in the national armed and security forces.
Italy is proud of its long-standing support of SSR processes in Southeastern Europe, Asia, and Africa, at the national level and through international and intergovernmental organizations such as NATO, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Union.
We are particularly proud of the internationally-recognized role of the Center of Excellence for Stability Police Units (CoESPU) based in Vicenza, which will soon share its headquarters with the NATO Stability Policing Center of Excellence. CoESPU makes an outstanding contribution to international efforts to enhance the effectiveness and professionalism of police and security agencies worldwide, at both the theoretical and practical levels. The Center operates as a doctrinal hub and a training center. It develops doctrine and common operational procedures for the employment of Stability Police Units and the promotion of the Rule of Law, and teaches operational planning, rules of engagement and international and humanitarian law to personnel from all over the world.
In closing, I am pleased that the hard lessons learned by our brave men and women in the field dovetail with the recommendations put forth in the Secretary-General’s report: restoring public order is unfortunately a necessary but elusive condition in post-conflict situations. In order to avoid a relapse into conflict, achieve a durable peace and pave the way to socio-economic development, we must develop and implement an organic and comprehensive approach to SSR. An approach inspired by the principles of inclusiveness, effectiveness, accountability and good governance. An approach designed to achieve the ultimate objectives of increasing the security of the people and rebuilding the bonds of trust between public authorities and their citizens.
Thank you, Mr. President.