We provide a safety & security policy framework
©UN Photo/Loey Felipe
Security-related UN conventions & framework
UN Security is underpinned by five main legal documents, outlining the responsibilities of all stakeholders:
- United Nations Charter – articles 104 and 105
- Conventions on Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations (1946 and 1947)
- Convention on Safety and Security of United Nations Personnel and Associated Personnel (1994) – Optional Protocol (2005)
- Annual Resolutions of the General Assembly on Safety and Security of UN personnel and associated personnel, also (Corr.1), and (Corr.2)
- United Nations Security Management System (UNSMS) Security Policy Manual
How are security policies developed?
Security policies are initiated, developed and reviewed by the Inter-Agency Security Management Network (IASMN), a specialized network of the High Level Committee on Management (HLCM). The Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security chairs the IASMN, composed of the senior security managers of all organizations represented in the United Nations Security Management System (UNSMS). Following the IASMN’s consideration and approval of security policies, the HLCM either approves or decides on the IASMN’s recommendation directly or recommends the endorsement of the UNSMS policies for the Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB’s) approval. Policies are circulated after being approved by the HLCM/CEB. Therefore, they are UN system-wide policies endorsed at the highest level of the United Nations system. We usually refer to these policies as “UNSMS policies”.
The Security Policy Manual: a robust policy framework for security operations
The Security Policy Manual (SPM) constitutes a solid policy framework for enabling the conduct of UN operations while ensuring the safety and security of UN personnel.
The Security Policy Manual contains a series of security policies that guide all actors within the United Nations Security Management System (UNSMS), including UNDSS.
There are four essential policies for any security decision maker in the United Nations system:
The Applicability Policy
This policy identifies those who fall under the scope of the United Nations Security Management System (UNSMS) and are covered by United Nations security arrangements. Those covered include internationally and locally recruited personnel, their eligible family members, interns, United Nations Volunteers and consultants for United Nations entities. In practical terms, this means that any individual who has signed a direct contractual agreement with one of the UNSMS entities falls under the UNSMS in accordance with this policy.
In the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) or the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPA)-led missions, individually deployed police and military personnel are covered by the UNSMS. The security of troops deployed with their contingents and police in Formed Police Units, are covered by separate mechanisms. Individuals recruited locally and hired on an hourly basis are excluded from this policy as are any family members of individually deployed military or police personnel.
The policy on Security Risk Management (SRM)
The SRM policy outlines the concept and principles which guide all decisions related to security within the United Nations Security Management System (UNSMS).
The SRM process is a structured and risk-based decision-making tool. It guides the process for the identification and assessment of the threats to United Nations personnel, assets and operations in a Designated Area. It then identifies measures and procedures to reduce the level of associated risk in order to enable program delivery within acceptable levels of risk. The process also includes a structured decision-making model for acceptable risk, which balances security risk with programme criticality.
Key policy documents
DO and SMT Handbook
A guide for designated officials for Security and Security Management teams
Secretary-General António Guterres, protected by UN Security Service Officers, is on his way to the General Assembly Hall during the General Assembly's seventy-fourth general debate. ©UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe