Risk Management

We are effective & risk-based

UNDSS provides effective and risk-based safety and security services

To address multi-dimensional security challenges, our services entail strong security risk management capabilities and strategies.

Red cross and UN and various other vehicles drive through a rough terrain.

©UN Photo/Albert González Farran

A security architecture that supports UNSMS

The UN Security Management System (UNSMS) Framework of Accountability provides guidance for the various security actors and mechanisms in a specific location. For example, the Designated Official (DO) is the highest ranking official accountable for the safety and security of all individuals covered by the UNSMS in a specific area, called the Designated Area. The DO is supported by the Security Management Team and a range of UN security professionals, including the Under-Secretary-General of UNDSS.

The Security Management Team (SMT) comprises the heads of all UNSMS entities/organizations present in the Designated Area. They are all individually accountable to the Secretary-General, through their Executive Directors, for the safety and security of their personnel. In addition to the SMT, various categories of security professionals are deployed to ensure the safety and security of UN personnel while delivering UN programmes.

SRM: the backbone of UN security

Security Risk Management (SRM) is a United Nations Security Management System (UNSMS) tool to identify, analyze and manage safety and security risks to United Nations personnel, assets and operations. The SRM process is guided by a UNSMS Policy, which provides guidance to security personnel on the process.

This approach was first established in 2004 and last updated in 2016. Importantly, the UNSMS is risk-based, not threat-based. While threats are assessed as part of the process, decisions are taken based on the assessment of risk.

Security measures: lowering risk to maximize programme delivery

UNDSS is constantly reviewing security measures and procedures to offer safe working conditions. UNDSS ensures that a full array of security options are available to address security concerns, including crisis management, contingency measures, relocation, evacuation, medical support, mass casualty preparedness, hostage incident management, communications, area security, special events, close protection operations, warden systems and psychosocial response plans, physical security, use of Personal Protective Equipment, tracking, travel advisories, security clearances and radio room operations.

The implementation of security measures is supported by comprehensive mechanisms to ensure that the necessary logistics, administrative, budget and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) components are in place to provide for security operations, including rapid emergency response.