At a Glance
Protecting UN personnel and enabling them to do their work is at the very heart of what UNDSS does. We deploy security personnel in 117 countries, providing safety and security support to 120,000 United Nations personnel. Here are some of the ways we work to keep UN personnel and premises safe and secure:
We coordinate safety & security in the field
We work with organizations of the United Nations Security Management System (UNSMS) on issues related to safety and security. This means making sure all programmes can take place as safely as possible. UNDSS personnel deal with issues ranging from everyday incidents such as petty crimes to complex targeted attacks on United Nations convoys or offices. We are also responsible for the management of the UNDSS Communications Centre, which maintains round-the-clock emergency communications between HQ and field duty stations on security matters.
We provide security at Offices Away from Headquarters
Our Division of Headquarters Security and Safety Service (DHSSS) is responsible for the management of safety and security operations at 11 major duty stations, comprising some 1,500 security personnel. These services provide security for 36,000 staff members (plus 58,000 dependents) and approximately 3 million visitors annually, including more than 1,000 VIPs (Heads of State and Government). Examples of security services provided include access control, premesis guards, close protection, building assessment and much more.
We manage security at major conferences
We provide security management services at events around the world organised by UN organizations, including major events that attract thousands of delegates and participants. In 2016, we coordinated a total of 185 events, of which 11 were major events. Over 350 uniformed officers were deployed.
We analyse threats and risk
At the operational level in the field, Principal Security Advisers, Chief Security Advisors and Security Advisors in the field, assisted by their staff and specialized analysts, lead the main process to analysis threats and risks and recommend counter measures, through the Security Risk Management process. At Headquarters, the Threat and Risk Service (TRS) identifies strategic trends of developing security threats in the UN operating averment, including the global security context and the specific context that may affect civilian personnel, assets and operations of UNSMS entities. TRS liaises with a wide range of interlocutors both inside the UNSMS and outside, acting as a cross-departmental unit in providing analytical support to its individual components.
We support peacekeeping and regional sections
Our Peacekeeping Operations Support Section (POSS) and the four Regional Sections (Europe & Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Middle-East) are responsible for the day-to-day management of security operations in the field in missions, countries and areas under their responsibility.
We collaborate with NGOs
Saving Lives Together” (SLT) is a framework that aims to enhance security collaboration in the field between the UN and (I)NGOs. Through SLT, the UN and the humanitarian community work together to collect, analyse and share critical information on security-related issueson the ground in countries where we work. SLT is also used to establish partnerships for training, emergency response, and consolidating security-related resources.
We advise on physical security
The UN works in buildings and premises all over the world, often in dangerous, high-risk locations. With direct attacks again UN premises on the rise, our Physical Security Unit provides expertise on physical protection to UNDSS security officials. While many UN premises are provided by Member Stares, we are responsible for determining if additional security measures for premises security are required, using our Security Risk Management process.
We have a decision-making framework
Our policies, known as UNSMS security policies, support all decision-making in relation to security in the field. These policies are initiated, developed and reviewed by members of the Inter-Agency Security Management Network (IASMN) and apply to all members of the UNSMS. The policies guide the formulation of all of the advice provided by UNDSS personnel: from what entry procedure to use, to what escort to provide to programming.