Background

The Under Secretary-General for the Department of Safety and Security (DSS) provided the Committee with an overview of the very serious general security situation over the last year which saw 28 civilian deaths as a result of acts of violence and multiple cases of abductions, some resulting in hostage situations lasting for several months.  The drastic changes in the security challenges faced by the UN, while increasingly understood by the senior-most management in the UN system, nevertheless warranted continued close attention in light of directly targeted attacks against the UN system and the span and depth of the daily challenges that staff faced in both conflict and post conflict situations and in some of the harshest, poverty-stricken and crime ridden areas in the world. Furthermore, the earthquake in Haiti highlighted the need for the UN to contend with safety issues which encompassed the need to address occupational health and safety.

Discussion

The Committee was informed of the successful efforts UNDSS had undertaken to ensure that the situations in which the UN operates may be better examined.  This included the securing of budgetary resources, part of which would go towards enhancing analytical capability within the Department. Furthermore, together with its partners in the UNSMS, a new security level system had been developed which is meant to replace completely the current security phase system. The USG further stressed that joint efforts and the pooling of resources would be required to stand up to the many security challenges the UN faced and expressed his deep gratitude for the tremendous support and collaborative efforts shown by both IASMN members and the Staff Federations throughout the year.

Action

The Committee:

Took note of the briefing by the Under Secretary-General, DSS.

On the issue of the Integrated Security Clearance and Tracking (ISECT) which was raised during the discussions, HLCM requested IASMN to review the requirement to notify all official travel to duty stations not in a security phase.