Host Government liaison

The primary responsibility for the security and protection of United Nations personnel rests with the host Government. UNDSS leads host Government security collaboration for the UNSMS and reinforces the capacity of the host Government to fulfill these obligations. This means that UNDSS liaises with host Government police, military and foreign ministries (or similar) to facilitate cooperation and adherence to requirements, and to ensure security support is provided to UN personnel on the ground in times of crisis.

View of the General Assembly hall at UNHQ.

GA 74th Session debate on safety and security of humanitarian and UN personnel ©UN Photo

Partnership with Member States & UN General Assembly

As mandated by the UN General Assembly (GA), UNDSS is the author Department for the report of the Secretary-General on “safety and security of humanitarian personnel and protection of United Nations personnel.” Following weeks of negotiations on these issues, during the 73rd Session, the GA in its plenary adopted its resolution on the same title of the report (A/73/392).

Since 2018, UNDSS’s active engagement with Member States has resulted in the continuous rise in the number of Member States cosponsoring the resolution. More than 90 Member States cosponsored the 74th GA resolution (A/74/464), compared to some 70 in 2018. In this resolution, the GA reaffirmed its support for the efforts of UNDSS and the United Nations Security Management System (UNSMS) on the protection of UN personnel.

Helicopter delivering supplies.

©UN Photo


Saving Lives Together: a framework of cooperation with INGOs

The Saving Lives Together (SLT) initiative was created in recognition of the fact that the organisations of the United Nations Security Management System (UNSMS), International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) and Intergovernmental Organisations (IOs) face similar security challenges when operating in volatile environments. SLT was established to provide a framework to improve collaboration on common security concerns and enhance the safe delivery of humanitarian and development assistance.

SLT is a series of recommendations aimed at enhancing security collaboration between the UNSMS organisations, INGOs and IOs. It recognises the collectively experienced security threats and the importance of collaboration to support the safe delivery of humanitarian and development assistance.

The objective of SLT is to enhance the ability of partner organisations to make informed decisions, manage risks and implement effective security arrangements that enable delivery of assistance and improve the security of personnel and continuity of operations.

Although SLT is a voluntary engagement by partner organisations, the success and effectiveness of the initiative are dependent on the commitment of all participating organisations to work collectively towards the mutual goal of improving the security of personnel and operations. Accordingly, organisations that wish to become SLT partner organisations must commit to the adoption and effective implementation of the principles, objectives and arrangements in the SLT Framework.

To this end, SLT partner organisations commit to:

  • Establish security collaboration arrangements;
  • Share relevant security information
  • Cooperate on security training
  • Cooperate on security operational and logistics arrangements, where feasible
  • Identify resource requirements for enhancing security coordination between the UN, INGOs, and IOs, and advocate for their funding
  • Consult on common ground rules for humanitarian action

It is recognised that SLT partner organisations perceive and assess threats and vulnerabilities differently, accept different levels of risk and implement security arrangements which they consider suitable for their organisation and operational conditions. SLT is designed to enhance and complement security risk management systems of SLT partner organisations, not substitute these systems and related arrangements.