What We Do

UNDSS is responsible for providing leadership, operational support and oversight of the security management system with the strategic aim of enabling the safest and most efficient conduct of mandated programmes and activities of the UN system worldwide. UNDSS is composed of the Office of the Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security, which includes the Policy, Planning and Coordination Unit and the Compliance, Monitoring and Evaluation Section, and three major operational components, the Division of Regional Operations, the Field Support Service and the Division of Headquarters Security and Safety Services.

Regional Operations

The Division of Regional Operations is responsible for the management of regional operations for safety and security and serves as the safety and security focal point for field duty stations, providing primary operational and technical support, including technical advice and guidance to Designated Officials for Security,  Security Management Teams and Security Advisers, best practices and lessons learned, and to assist them in the discharge of their functions and responsibilities for security. The Division consists of the Threat and Risk Assessment Service, Regional Sections, Peacekeeping Operations Support Section, and Communications Centre.


Threat and Risk Assessment Service (TRS)

TRS is responsible for the identification of threats to the Organizations of the United Nations system; development of strategic, regional and country-specific threat assessments; provision of analytical and assessment support to other Sections of the Division and field duty stations; development of methodologies for security analysis and training of security analysts in the field; distribution of security threat information to all actors of the United Nations Security Management System at Headquarters and in the field; and development of security risk assessments for senior United Nations officials.



Regional and Peacekeeping Operations Support Sections

Each Regional Section and the Peacekeeping Operations Support Section (POSS) are responsible for the daily management of security operations in the field, including coordination; endorsement of Security documents (SRA, MOSS, MORSS, etc), review of security levels; and liaison with DPKO, DPA and OCHA in the planning and implementation of safety and security programmes. POSS is responsible for security support to Integrated Operational Teams, coordination of security issues with DPKO/DFS, and the development of security risk assessments for senior UN officials.

Communications Centre

The Communications Centre maintains round-the-clock emergency communications at HQ with field duty stations on security matters. It dispatches official correspondence and monitors open media sources to provide timely alerts on evolving security developments that may impact the safety and security of the UN system worldwide. The "comscen" is located in HQNY within the UN Operations & Crisis Center.

Policy & Compliance



The Policy unit has three core responsibilities. First, it is responsible for developing security policies, guidelines and procedures as well as cataloguing best practices. Second, the unit serves as a secretariat for the Inter-Agency Security Management System Network. Finally, it provides substantive support to the USG/ASG as part of their responsibilities in overseeing the UNSMS. The provision of support on security policy also extends to clients both inside and outside the UNSMS.


Our Compliance section monitors and evaluates the implementation of, and compliance with, security policy, procedures and guidelines of the UNSMS. It conducts missions, issues recommendations, and follows up on them to ensure every measure is being taken for the safety and security of UN personnel.


Field Support



The Training and Development Section manages the development and implementation of a UN security knowledge transfer and training strategy for all target groups within the United Nations Security Management System. TDS delivers training, including core and specialist courses for the United Nations Security Management System based on the security training strategy as defined by the Inter-Agency Security Management Network’s Working Group on Security Training.

Stress Management

The team administers critical incident stress prevention and management activities throughout the UN system; facilitates stress management training; delivers counselling services; and coordinates the UN response to critical incident stress management during emergencies. Counsellors provide support to UN personnel during emergencies by making referrals to UN Medical Services when staff require treatment or long-term therapy. Unit staff collaborate with the UN Staff Counsellor's Office, field counsellors across the system, and with the global network of trained and certified mental health professionals--who are accredited in their respective country's duty stations.


The Aviation Risk Management Office (ARMO) provides advice and guidance to the UN Security Management System (UNSMS) in order to enable objective and evidence-based decision-making regarding the suitability of scheduled commercial air operators for use in operational planning.

Information Management

The core function of the Crisis Management Information Support Section is managing systems, including an automated security clearance mechanism for the travel of United Nations system personnel and information management tools that provide security related information to security professionals, security management teams and United Nations system personnel worldwide.


Security and Safety Services

The Division of Headquarters Security and Safety Services was established in 2004 to bring together the uniformed services. It currently has 11 duty stations including Security and Safety Service at Headquarters, Offices Away from Headquarters, Regional Commissions and Tribunals, which all comprise more than 1,600 uniformed security officers. These services provide a safe and secure environment in which delegates, staff, and visiting dignitaries can conduct their business.

Providing a safe and secure environment

Security and Safety Service (SSS)

Some Security and Safety Service have existed for more than 60 years; NYSSS, for example, came into existence in 1947. In the past, liaising between the services was done by the United Nations Security and Safety Services Network-UNSSSNET, a forum in which the Chiefs of Security in the different duty stations would address common challenges. With the establishment of the Division, UNSSSNET was maintained and DHSSS now provides technical and strategic management for SSS worldwide, including training, uniforms, physical security standards, equipment and others.

Covering and liaising the security of UN events

Special Event Coordination

The Division coordinates in consultation with the Regional operations the coverage of Special UN Events sponsored by UN organizations that gather thousands of delegates and participants. DHSSS addresses the security challenges posed by the broad variations of events in size, profile, context, security requirements, and local conditions. Last year, it supported 154 events, including 12 major events that required the deployment of 183 uniformed officers.

Ensuring protection of Senior UN Officials

Close Protection

Wherever Senior UN Officials go, especially in duty stations with elevated levels of risk, the Protection Coordination Unit manages their personal protection details. It coordinates approximately 350 Protective Services Operations each year, covering 130 UN Officials organization wide.

Capturing experience and knowledge

Technical Assistance and Development

DHSSS can count on a wealth of experience on physical security, weapons management, training, protective services and fire safety. It has collaborated in the implementation of policies adopted by UNDSS, such as:  policy on close protection operations, fire safety, protectives services, use of force policy, security arrangments for special events, etc. Staff from the division are often deployed to support UN operations in surge capacity in all corners of the world.