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Improving the Security of the Populations

Ensuring security for the populations is the major challenge facing States in crisis or exiting crisis, and the pre-requisite for their stability. The security system (Army, police, law enforcement agencies, legal and penitentiary institutions, elected officials in charge of overseeing them) must be able to ensure the security of persons and goods, whether from the physical, legal, judiciary or economic standpoints, in line with democratic principles.

“Security is the top priority listed by the populations of States coming out of conflict and that of States affected by high levels of armed crime. Arms are central to the problem of lack of security, whether actual or perceived, and it is necessary to approach the issue of security from a broad angle” - High Council in International Cooperation.

The tie between security and development is now broadly recognised by the main bilateral and multilateral donors. It reflects the realisation that development cannot progress while security is lacking, just as poverty has a direct impact on security.

The Reform of Security Systems

France takes an active part in the work carried out by the OECD’s Committee for Development Aid (CDA) on the reform of security systems (RSS). It abides by the OECD’s guidelines, which are based on a broad view of security insofar as it also encompasses the well-being of populations and the freedom to exercise political, economic and social rights.

The objective of such a reform, which must be part of a broader governance reform process, is not to transpose a security model, but to come up with approaches and systems specific to each country. Requiring a strong foundation and local ownership, support for the said reforms is formed around the three following thrusts:

-  defining a clear institutional framework required to provide security, which makes it possible to incorporate security and development policies by calling upon all of the stakeholders involved

-  strengthening governance and building capacity in institutions responsible for overseeing the players involved in the field of security

-  building up competent, professional security forces, accountable to civil authorities, and capable of securing respect for the Rule of Law.

By targeting the structural causes of lack of safety and vulnerabilities, RSS provides essential leverage for supporting a country’s stabilisation and lasting exit from conflict. In that sense, some aspects of its action are complementary with the fight against the proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALW) or the demobilisation and reintegration processes (DDR). In this field, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs is committed in particular in the fight against the exploitation of children in armed conflict.


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All rights reserved - French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development - 2014