Security Sector Support Unit

UNSCR 1704 established and UNSCR 1802 reaffirmed the two roles for the SSSU. First and foremost, the Unit’s role is not to engage in reform per se but to assist the national authorities “in conducting a comprehensive review of the future role and needs of the security sector”. The 13 June 2008 signing of the UNDP Project Document supplements the work of the SSSU by outlining the support of the UN to the comprehensive review of the security sector initiated by the Government. It will be governed by a Project Board, driven by a three-tiered mechanism, and implemented by its Coordination Committee assisted by UN and UNDP experts. 

When such a review is completed, the mandate then expects that the Unit will support reform activities. Implicit in these two roles is the need to ensure policy coherence within the system. To stymie suspicion and confusion about what ‘SSR’ is or is not, it is important that the role of the Unit follows the task chronology: Comprehensive Review first, Reform later, though we do accept that the reality will require concurrent activity. The UNDP Project Document also assists in capacity building of the security institutions in support of reform. 

The Project Document will also undertake a detailed survey of public perceptions of security threats and of the security sector. The survey will canvass public opinion and promote a dialogue on security issues. An outreach and socialization strategy will also be launched to develop a comprehensive picture of the challenges currently faced in the security sector. It will distinguish between: IDPs, Veterans, minorities, women, youth, etc. 

Background on the Project Document for reference 

The need for a nation to reform its security sector is rooted in the fact that its stability and development go hand-in-hand. Without stability based on democratic principles and firmly anchored in a respect for human rights, sustainable human development can not be achieved. The rationale of this intervention is grounded in the recognition that "crisis prevention and disaster mitigation are integral parts of sustainable human development strategies", a principle that guides UNDP's work in crisis and post-crisis situations. 

The project will thus: 
aim to support and further on-going national efforts - such as the preparation of the National Security Policy. To do so, it will build upon recent and current analytical and planning work. It does not require in anyway putting everything on hold until the completion of the process.

seek to strengthen national capacity in the management of security sector issues through a capacity building facility in addition to specific activities that will support these on-going efforts. This capacity building facility can support specialized training such as military budgeting, human resource management, and study tours. It can also serve to procure non-military or infrastructure equipment such as radio or satellite phones for disaster management purposes. It cannot support military training or the purchase of weapons or other military equipment.

The project will be implemented by a project team composed of seconded civil servants, UNMIT SSSU staff and UNDP consultants.


Project Document - Security Sector Review in Timor-Leste - June 2008: