There are many ways to link security sector reform and conflict prevention: (a) improving the governance of the security sector and respect for human rights in conflict and post-conflict situations is a key priority for establishing a safe environment in which economic development can occur; (b) providing assistance in managing military expenditure and encourage increased openness in defence and security budgets; (c) supplying human rights and democracy training for police and military forces; and (d) supporting relevant representatives of civil society to gain civilian oversight of security matters, including monitoring the conduct, performance and cost-effectiveness of security forces.
Although the link between development and security is now recognised by many specialists within the development community, programmes to facilitate internal security, properly functioning and independent criminal justice systems and arms control in regions of conflict remain poorly funded. Some governments and international agencies are reluctant to give assistance to the security sector or are constrained by legal guidelines.
G8 governments can play a key role in supporting and encouraging security sector reform in conflict prone regions. Not only will this help prevent conflicts and enable economic development, but will also make investment by G8 countries in these countries more attractive. The political commitment of the G8 to encourage actions that lead to reforming the security sector in a number of countries is vital.