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Exploring the field of security sector reforms in Egypt is a vital mission in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals at the Egyptian level. The Arab Reform Initiative, a non-governmental organization linking together ten partner organizations among which the Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, held a workshop on this issue in Cairo in March 2008. It was attended by representatives from the Arab world, as well as from Egypt. It focused on a comprehensive agenda regarding security and development . In line with this workshop and the overall goals of the Arab Reform Initiative, this research is an attempt to analyze the security sector in Egypt, and the reforms it requires if the recent national, regional and international challenges are to be addressed.
Security is a fundamental prerequisite for improving the everyday life of Egyptians, reducing poverty, promoting economic and social development. It is also essential for the protection of human rights and the improvement of governance. In Egypt, the security sector constitutes the major contributor to personal and state safety; it enables access to social services and political processes. With its diverse components, it is a core government responsibility. In general, inappropriate security structures and mechanisms can lead to weak governance, instability and violent conflict, since the functions performed by the security sector in any society aren’t only to protect the society and assure its survival on the short run, but also to guarantee its components are competitive and effective on the long run.