ISAC Fund organises the 7th School of Security Sector Reform

15 – 19 May 2006, Belgrade

Five day intensive educational program for young leaders, professionals and practitioners in security affairs.

This project was made possible through the kind donation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and the Czech Embassy in Belgrade

In spite of the ever increasing number of efforts to push ahead, the reform of the security sector in Serbia (and Montenegro) still presents one of the crucial challenges ahead in the country’s overall reform process.  Not only is the continuation and the deepening of these reforms a prerequisite for moving forward in the process of Euro-Atlantic integration, entering the PfP program and progressing in the Stabilisation and Association process with the EU as the most important ones, but – even more importantly – it is a basic requirement of the country’s citizens.  In order to perform a task as demanding as carrying out genuine, deep-reaching and institution-altering reforms, all the actors involved will not only have to continue working more energetically in the coming years, but will also have to act on some very specific structural and institutional issues.

Those issues also include alterations such as the change of the mindset of the security sector’s  members (especially its older generations), improvement in the levels of cooperation among the very actors and across sectors, gaining clearer sense of each one’s true position and role within the security system, all based on accurately and thoughtfully developed strategic documents.  The government will need to commence developing mechanisms that will provide answers to the main questions, such as – What is the purpose of armed forces reform?; What are they being reformed to accomplish?, Who controls the intelligence services?; How and who uses the results of their work?, etc.  All of this will require formalised approaches to analysing security threats and challenges, precise strategic planning, proper involvement of the executive branch of government where it ascribes the levels of acceptability, or lack of it, to the identified risks and challenges, and so forth.  Nevertheless, at this very moment, apart form the attainment of unreserved and complete cooperation with ICTY, one of the most important tasks ahead remains the development of specialist education which, in turn, provides the necessary foundations for many of the other components and steps in the reform of the security sector.  In other words, education for security sector reform is the prerequisite for informed and planned security sector reform.

The modifications and reforms of the educational institutions and their programs are as demanding as the reforms of any other of the country’s fundamental sectors.  Yet, the immediate need for knowledge is too urgent to procrastinate with excuses that it is difficult to alter the overall structures.  It is clear that incremental steps can be made and certain of the needs addressed as and when they are identified, until the time when the society is in a position to transform the existing or, failing that, create entirely new institutions.  In this knowledge-gaining process, we should not forget to mention the need for re-education of people already established within the wheels of the security sector.  Their experience, combined with new ideas and methods, as well as diverse support from the international community, may indeed identify some extraordinary individuals within the “old guard” who are both willing and able to change in step with requirements placed afore them.

Nonetheless, the brunt of the reforms will inevitably be carried out by the younger generations.  More specifically, to develop and imbed a true system of democratic control of the armed forces, as both a condition and an element of the reform of the security sector, this country will most certainly require trained civilians with developed ability and knowledge of the sensitive work in addition to their already evident energy and dedication.  The civilian experts take time to develop and a considerable number of them are already needed.  On-the-job training is a valid method not to be underestimated, but in addition to that it is vital to offer a number of systematised educational activities that will help the civilians develop the necessary expertise and further their knowledge by acquiring specialist skills in specific areas of security sector reform (SSR).  This is where the work of specialised institutions in the civil sector, as well as the country’s academic institutions, come into play as a contribution to efforts underway within the security sector ministries.

Having all of the above in mind, as well as the experience and the success of all six previous Schools of Security Sector Reform, previously organized by the Defence and Security Studies Centre (DSSC) of the G17 Institute, during 2003, 2004 and 2005, the ISAC Fund – as the successor to DSSC, recognized the necessity to continue with this educational undertaking, as an institution which unconditionally continues the activities and further expands the work of DSSC.  Thus, the one-week interactive School titled “The 7th School of Security Sector Reform” will be held 15 to 19 May 2006, as the seventh event in this continual education cycle.  Just as the previous six Schools, the 7th School is also intended for the young leaders, professionals and practitioners, targeting all the relevant institutions:  the SaM Ministries of Defence and of Foreign Affairs, Serbia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, the parliaments, independent and professional media, NGOs, and students and researchers from relevant Faculties and Institutes.  This educational activity is the groundwork on which the ISAC Fund plans to expand and offer more specialised educational courses aimed at helping the participants engage in an in-depth exploration of specific areas of the security sector and its reform process, through workshops consisting of scenario-based role-plays and simulations.

Considering the very difficult financial situation of institutions targeted with this project (military and police in particular, but also the academia), at this time the ISAC Fund still  depends on donors for financial support to implement the School program.  Previous Schools were organised with the generous help and kind donations of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the British Embassy in Belgrade, the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Belgrade, NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division and Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe (sponsored by Germany), the Danish Ministry of Defence, the Royal Danish Embassy in Belgrade and the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ISAC Fund expresses its gratefulness to Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Czech Embassy in Belgrade for making the 7th School possible.

Main Objectives of the School:

The activities of the School are intended to contribute to:

  • Achieving a well targeted transfer of quality knowledge and relevant experience aimed at helping professionals increase their knowledge, and providing them an opportunity to practice these skills through workshops in an environment of their peers.
  • To help initiate future civilian experts in issues and concepts of security sector reform process, as well as to expand the knowledge of security sector professionals.
  • Support for the emergence of an informed, competent and decisive Security Community in Serbia and Montenegro.
  • Underlining the urgency of the need to reform the security sector in Serbia and Montenegro.
  • Diminishing public ignorance and lack of interest for the security sector reform and for the establishment of democratic control of the armed forces in Serbia and Montenegro, by offering a serious and responsible educational approach to the matter.
  • Public promotion of the need for the democratic control of the armed forces and particularly of the Army of Serbia and Montenegro by addressing the issues of collective security systems and their importance for the security as well as for undertaking of the process of security sector reform in Serbia and Montenegro.
  • To outline the course of the country’s integration in systems of collective and cooperative security, predominantly within the Euro-Atlantic structures – PfP and NATO.

Schedule of the 7th School of Security Sector Reform

Verzija na srpskom jeziku