Role of well-governed and accountable security sector in addressing transnational threats explored at OSCE-UNODC sub-regional expert meeting in Minsk

Role of well-governed and accountable security sector in addressing transnational threats explored at OSCE-UNODC sub-regional expert meeting in Minsk

16 November 2018 - The importance of a well-governed and accountable security sector in effectively addressing transnational organized crime, including trafficking in persons and illicit drugs, corruption and terrorism, was the focus of a sub-regional expert-level workshop for senior practitioners and policy-makers from Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine in Minsk on 14 and 15 November 2018.

Discussions focused on the promotion of regional co-operation and information exchange among national security sector actors, as well as the importance of shared responsibility in addressing the security threats and their prevention in line with the UN Peace and Security Agenda and UN Security Council Resolution 2151 on Security Sector Reform.

The workshop was organized by the OSCE and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in partnership with the Government of Belarus and the Government of Slovakia, which chairs the OSCE Group of Friends of Security Sector Governance and Reform, and is also Co-Chair of the UN Group of Friends of Security Sector Reform.

Held at the International Training Centre of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus, the workshop brought together representatives of security and law enforcement agencies, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Interior and Health, anti-corruption authorities, customs and taxation departments, parliamentary oversight bodies and civil society, as well as experts from neighbouring countries, regional and international organizations, and relevant think tanks.

"Modern transnational organized crime is a factor that seriously destabilizes public safety and significantly undermines the efforts of states to improve security," said Ivan Podgursky, Belarus' First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs. He added that the workshop was an excellent opportunity to boost regional and international co-operation in this sphere.

Katarína Žáková, Deputy Permanent Representative at Slovakia's Permanent Mission to the OSCE emphasized the centrality of national ownership in Security Sector Governance and Reform that must be informed by the needs of the population and developed through inclusive national political processes.

Fred Tanner, Senior Advisor at the OSCE Conflict Prevention Centre, added: "Ensuring that the security sector is capable to respond to today's challenges requires constant adjustments and the improvement of police, border security institutions and judicial systems."

The sessions of the workshop focused on multilateral and regional co-operation approaches, crime prevention, the effective regulation and management of borders, ensuring the democratic oversight of security sector institutions, and strengthening public health security.

Gilberto Gerra, Chief of the Health Department at UNODC, said: "The role of the UN Drugs Convention is to protect the health and well-being of people, and stresses the need for an integrated approach in addressing drug-related challenges. This does not only involve law enforcement, but also includes the health and justice sectors."

The workshop was organized under the OSCE-UNODC Joint Action Plan for 2018-2019, which commits both organizations to support the implementation of Security Sector Governance and Reform.

Further information:

UNODC on Organized Crime

UNODC on Trafficking in Persons

UNODC on Corruption

UNODC on Drug Trafficking

UNODC on Terrorism Prevention