The security sector is a concept which brings together structures, institutions, and personnel whose mission is to monitor the security situation in a given country. This involves the army, gendarmerie, police etc, government institutions, the judiciary, the customs service. The security sector also includes not only institutions and democratic bodies such as parliament and civil society but also non-state entities such as private security companies and unofficial armed groups.
SSR is a long-term national process of holistic transformation of the security sector of a country in order to render it more efficient by ensuring that the management and functioning of its institutions conform to democratic norms and the rule of law. It is a transformation process which includes all actors with a redefinition of their roles and responsibilities in order to make them compatible with good democratic governance. The objective of SSR is to establish a security environment which enables national cohesion and development. The ultimate aim is to take into account the principles and ideas such as the issue of gender equality, the institutionalisation of democratic control, as well as the monitoring and assessment of the security sector.
In Côte d'Ivoire, SSR is aimed at establishing lasting peace in the country. In effect, this means ensuring that security institutions and the judiciary are competent, responsible, efficient, at the service of Ivorian citizens, respect human rights and will in turn be supported by the population who will help them to accomplish their mission. Peace and security for everyone will mean that the country can focus on development. Without peace, there can be no development, without security there can be no peace – that is why SSR is important.