UNOAU participates in the Annual Common Connections Week on SSR and the SSR Group of Friends meeting

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7 Jun 2024

UNOAU participates in the Annual Common Connections Week on SSR and the SSR Group of Friends meeting

New York - From 3 to 7 June, UNOAU participated in the Annual Common Connections Week on Security Sector Reform (SSR) in New York. The meeting aimed at a) reviewing progress in the implementation of the UN Program of Action on SSR and challenges with key initiatives over the past year, b) discussing strategic priorities for SSR globally and in specific contexts taking into consideration shifting political and security dynamics, and c) sharing analysis, innovations, and lessons learned from approaches to supporting national SSR processes. The Common Connection Week included high-level keynotes and practitioner panels structured around emerging issues, as well as knowledge exchange sessions.

The week started with a meeting of the SSR Group of Friends under the theme ‘What Future for Security Sector Reform & Governance (SSR&G) in Peace Operations’. The meeting was chaired by the Permanent Representative of South Africa to the UN, Mathu Joyini, and received opening remarks from Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Crisis Bureau of UNDP, Shoko Noda.

Interventions were made by senior SSR practitioners from the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya and UNDP. It was highlighted that SSR&G is critical for sustaining peace and preventing conflict and that prioritizing SSR&G in the Pact for the Future would be a crucial step toward empowering national institutions to uphold human security over the long-term.

Other discussions during the Common Connection Week included a keynote speech by Professor Daniel Rothbart on ‘Security, securitizing, and securitization: confronting conflicting mindsets’. Other topics discussed throughout the week included adequate financing for SSR through strengthening partnerships between UN and International Financial Institutions/Multilateral Development Banks, hybrid security, governance, corruption, the role of artificial intelligence in SSR, climate change and SSR, the role of (sub-)regional organizations, inter-agency collaborations towards the Agenda 2030, and barriers and entry points for equal opportunities for women in defense.

The week provided opportunities for extensive interactions between the SSR Chiefs and Advisors and New York-based stakeholders, including Member States, to discuss challenges, trends and implementation of SSR&G. The 2024 edition of this dedicated week offered valuable knowledge exchange and networking opportunities for the SSR community of practice. The meeting brought together practitioners and policymakers within the UN Inter-Agency SSR Task Force and across partner organizations.