Key stakeholders from transitioning countries in North Africa and the Middle East convened for the Regional Seminar on “Civilian Security and Justice Sector Reform”, held from June 4 – 7, 2013 in Casablanca, Morocco, for a dialogue on security and justice sector transformation in the region. This event was the first in a series of planned regional workshops that are jointly conducted by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and the Near East South Asia (NESA) Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University. AFRICOM also participated in the project through its support of the NESA Center. Core workshop content was provided by experts and practitioners from USIP, NESA and other institutions, including Tufts University, the University of Pretoria and the African Security Sector Network, National Defense University, TD International, and the African Studies Centre at Coventry University. Participants in the workshop came from diverse and representative institutions, including civil society, government (e.g. parliaments, ministries, justice sector institutions, police and security forces), the private sector, international organizations, and academia. The total number of participants who attended was 49. Country representation, both official and nonofficial, from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region included Algeria (3), Egypt (4), Libya (8), Morocco (19), Tunisia (7), Turkey (1), and Yemen (2). In addition, three representatives from AFRICOM and two representatives from the US State Department participated in this event. Security and justice sector reform are essential components of stable, long-term political transitions to democratic rule. This first seminar focused on laying out a common framework for discussion and exploring international case studies. The first plenary sessions focused on principles and conceptual developments in security and justice sector reform, while the remaining plenary sessions explored applications, challenges, and lessons-learned from conducting security and justice reform in post-conflict and transitional countries. Plenary sessions were complemented by discussions in smaller groups to further refine the focus from a regional perspective. Finally, participant recommendations were presented in the last session to identify next steps for continued regional engagement and dialogue.
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