30-31 Jan 2008

Progress on intelligence sector reform

The Ukrainian Security Service hosted the sixth meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Working Group on Civil and Democratic Control of the Intelligence Sector in Kyiv on 30 and 31 January.

Ukraine briefed the Working Group on plans for implementing the recommendations for the reform of its intelligence and security sectors that were set out in a White Book published last autumn. Achieving tangible results in this area is of key importance to the Allies in assessments of Ukraine’s overall progress in aligning its security sector to Euro-Atlantic standards.

The Working Group welcomed proposals for the training and education of Ukrainian intelligence sector personnel in the framework of the Professional Development Programme that is currently underway in Ukraine. Investing in the preparation of highly qualified personnel will provide the driving force for the whole reform process, and will build the institutional capacity for democratic management and oversight of the intelligence sector.

An initiative of the NATO-Ukraine Joint Working Group on Defence Reform, the Professional Development Programme is strengthening the role of civilians in defence and security-sector institutions as well as improving the ability of the Ukrainian government to introduce and sustain systemic reforms in these institutions.

During the meeting, participants also discussed options for continuing the activities of the Working Group on Civil and Democratic Control of the Intelligence Sector after its mandate ends in April. They recommended that cooperation with Ukraine in this area continue by way of staff talks, to be held as and when required.

The Working Group was established in 2006 to provide expert advice and recommendations for the democratic reform and transformation of Ukraine’s intelligence agencies, and to assist in the implementation of such reforms.

Ensuring civil and democratic control of its security services is a key element of Ukraine’s defence and security-sector reform process. This reform process is essential to consolidating Ukraine’s democratic transformation and to promoting its goal of closer Euro-Atlantic integration.