Security for whom? Security sector reform and public security in Nepal

The accessible and accountable provision of security and justice is a key requirement for ensuring sustainable peace and economic and social development. In Nepal, there is an urgent need to address issues related to security provision and the security sector as part of the ongoing peace process. Success in security sector reform (SSR) is vital in ensuring the improvements to governance, without which further violent conflict in Nepal is likely.

SSR and public security initiatives planned in tandem are key to improving the security situation. However, given the sensitivities that SSR terminology evokes, thought needs to be given to what can be done in the short term under the banner of public security to lay the groundwork for SSR. If something is not done to address the current public security situation, then any longer-term SSR initiatives will be jeopardised.

The EU is among a number of actors engaged in Nepal that have committed to addressing security-related issues. With a wide range of instruments at its disposal, it is in a position to play a significant role in developing and sustaining a human-security driven approach that ensures public security, and peoples’ needs, are addressed in the broader context of long-term SSR.

This briefing aims to connect the public security and SSR agendas in Nepal in order to inform ongoing discussions amongst donors and to explore the role that the EU could play in future security-enhancing activities in Nepal.