Background

The Committee received a briefing from the UN Security Coordinator on experience gained after the tragic events in Baghdad. It also received reports emanating from two meetings of the Working Group of IASMN. Arising out of these reports were a series of recommendations, which are detailed below:

Discussion

A. Risk and Threat Assessment

  • That an integrated risk and threat assessment unit be established on an urgent basis to examine the security situation in each country and to propose solutions that would mitigate the risk.  This would include continual sharing of information between departments within the Secretariat as well as between agencies, programmes and funds of the United Nations system.
  • That a new risk and threat assessment model be developed on an urgent basis to include specific definitions of each term, and which is consistently applied.
  • In the realization that risk and threat assessment is a full-time function and therefore beyond the capacity of the Field Security Coordination Officer, a system will need to be established whereby each duty station has the professional capacity to carry out credible risk and threat assessments.
  • Once the new risk and threat assessment is ready, all Field Security Coordination Officers, Designated Officials and members of Security Management Teams should be trained in its use.

B. United Nations premises, accommodations and movement control

  • That the concept of housing all or many UN system staff in one office premises be seriously re-examined as a matter of urgency in light of the new security realities.
  • That each Designated Official and Security Management Team urgently consider the appropriateness of their respective premises given the security considerations at their particular duty station.
  • That the risk and threat assessments carried out by the various duty stations did not include any consideration of issues other than premises;  all duty stations must urgently undertake an assessment of risks associated with other aspects such as residences, travel, etc.
  • That no premises be occupied by United Nations system staff until a written security assessment has been carried out by a security professional.

C. Technical Security Matters

  • That as a matter of urgency, all UN system offices worldwide install blast proof film on windows. UNSECOORD should urgently provide the system-wide specifications for the type of film to be used.
  • That as a matter of urgency,  all UN system offices worldwide institute access control mechanisms both for staff and visitors as well as for vehicular traffic.  Parking facilities should also be reviewed as a matter of urgency.
  • That all duty stations urgently review the physical security protective measures in use at their duty station including walls, bars, grilles, etc. to ensure that they are appropriate in light of the specific risks at the duty station.
  • That the functions assigned to FSCOs be urgently re-examined and that at least two dedicated field security coordination officers be appointed in each country where UN system staff are present.

D.     Security at Headquarters Locations

  • That urgent action be taken by the Task Forces at each individual United Nations system headquarters location to address similar concerns.

E.     Accountability

  • That the inherent weakness of the accountability policy is the absence of an enforcement mechanism and recommends that the Chief Executives Board consider this issue as a matter of priority at its forthcoming meeting, together with the aforementioned recommendations, with a view to having  solutions put in place by 31 December 2003 if not earlier.

F.     Security for Women

  • That the Human Resources Network review the existing policies and procedures with regard to issues related to sexual harassment;  that a survey be undertaken by the Human Resources offices to determine the level of the problems at the workplace and also to determine the effectiveness of existing structures and procedures.
  • That a risk and threat assessment should be conducted at each duty station on the security threats faced by women and appropriate modifications of the MOSS undertaken to ensure that these risks and threats are addressed and mitigated.
  • That training of women in the field is a key component to ensuring their security, and in that context the following items be considered by the appropriate entities:
  • That the women senior managers who are assigned to high risk areas be provided with appropriate management training by HR prior to assuming their functions;
  • That gender sensitivity training at all levels be built into agency training programmes by HR offices;
  • That there should be special training for women regarding rape awareness and other specific concerns;
  • That  FSCOs should be trained in investigative techniques for sexual crimes, domestic violence and child abuse;
  • That  Member States should be requested to provide assistance for this training;
  • That training should be considered for dependent spouses left alone for prolonged periods of time while the staff member is on mission;
  • That a Working Group on training consider this matter on a priority basis;

G. Air Safety

  • That, under the auspices of the Common Services network, the air safety rating system currently in use by the EBRD be made available to all Security Focal Points of the IASMN.  Technical details will be coordinated by WFP.
  • That UNSECOORD hire an air safety advisor to provide advice, as required, regarding the use of particular aircraft.

H. Guard Contingent

  • That the concept of a United Nations Guard Contingent to provide security for UN personnel and missions in high risk areas should be explored with a view to developing the option for use as an emergency response capability.

In an extensive discussion of the issues raised in these recommendations, members re-emphasized the importance they attached to strengthening UN system security arrangements.

Action

The Committee:

  • Welcomed the recommendations in this critical area and endorsed the policy thrust contained therein;
  • Urged implementation of those actions that could be undertaken immediately within existing resources;
  • Requested UNSECOORD to provide, as a matter of urgency, details of financial implications arising out of these recommendations which were to be cost shared among organisations.

While acknowledging the importance of strengthening UN system security arrangements, FAO underscored the need for a detailed financial analysis of the proposals to be considered by the IASMN, in the light of their potentially significant budgetary implications.  Such analysis and the IASMN recommendations based thereon would allow the HLCM and subsequently the CEB to review comprehensively and make an informed decision on the feasibility of implementing the proposed security measures.  In this regard, FAO took note of and fully supported the request made by the High Level Committee on Management to UNSECOORD for the urgent provision of details on the financial implications.