International round table “Human Security and Security Sector Reform in Eastern Europe”

On June 8, 2017, the Regional Office of Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation to Ukraine and Belarus in partnership with the East European Security Research Initiative Foundation held the International round table “Human Security and Security Sector Reform in Eastern Europe”.

The round table concluded results of the project, within which the experts from Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Lithuania and Slovakia analysed the human security issues in the context of reforming the post-totalitarian security sectors in the Eastern European countries. The experts studied both the legal framework and the practical situation with human security in the respective countries, and their compliance with European standards, taking into account the modern broad sense of the human security concept. Special attention was paid to studying the best practices and common problems in these countries as well as possible solutions. Proceedings of the project prepared by the experts from seven countries were published in Ukrainian and English languages, and were presented at the round table.

Ukrainian officials, representatives of the Armed Forces and National Police, heads of the regional offices of international organizations in Ukraine, and representatives of civil society, expert and academic circles of Ukraine and other Eastern and Central European countries took part in the round table. In his opening remark, Ihor Zhovkva, Chief of the Head Department for Foreign Policy and European Integration of the Presidential Administration, stressed that while strengthening national security amid the armed conflict, Ukraine’s authorities pay no less attention to the issues of human security, with full respect to the value of human life and human dignity. Joelle Vachter, Deputy Head of the European Union Advisory Mission in Ukraine, Alexander Vinnikov, Head of NATO Representation to Ukraine, and Vaidotas Verba, OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine, in their speeches told about cooperation in promoting democracy and strengthening human rights and human security, particularly in the context of security sector reform in Ukraine. Oleksiy Nozdrachov, Head of the Civil-Military Cooperation, Armed Forces of Ukraine, and Konstantin Tarasenko, Head of Department, Commissioners of Chairman for Human Rights Observance in Police activity, told about the new ways of cooperation between the militaries, police and civilian population to ensure human security and human rights in Ukraine.

Experts from Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Lithuania and Slovakia discussed both the positive experience and problems in providing human security within reforming the security sectors in the respective countries. Besides, the issues of democratic control of security sector, the problems of human security at the time of conflict and hostilities, and the correlation between human security and state security were discussed. Participants of the round table noted that military conflicts, either active or frozen, are among the main obstacles to human security promoting on the post-Soviet space. With that, though the traditional threats are still vital, and Russian aggression against Ukraine proves this fact, the human security paradigm of placing people at the centre should be a hallmark for the security sector reforms in countries that have chosen a democratic model of development. In this respect, Ukraine could become a positive example for other former Soviet countries proving that the issues of national security can and should be resolved while simultaneously ensuring human security.


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Photo: FES/Bernd Raschke


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