Background

Further to the videoconference of 24 August on this issue, the Committee was provided with the draft “Report of the Secretary-General on a Strengthened and Unified Security Management System for the United Nations” (A/59/365) to be funded under the UN’s regular budget.  It was recognized that security, a prerequisite for programme delivery, was a core responsibility of Member States and should be funded centrally under the UN’s regular budget; the current cost-shared approach was ineffective and administratively cumbersome in that it was dependant on voluntarily funded budgets of UN agencies, funds and programmes.

The main recommendations with respect to the headquarters component were (a) the amalgamation of existing security structures into a new Directorate of Security, (b) strengthened functional capabilities in the areas of security threat and risk assessment, (c) coordination of close protection, (d) operational support to the field, including  policy and standards, compliance and evaluation, training and human resources management of security staff,  operational guidance and overall technical supervision in other headquarters locations.

Regarding the field component, the main recommendations included (a) the senior UN official at the duty station who would be the Designated Official responsible for security of all civilian staff in the country, (b) the Designated Official would be advised by a senior security officer, called the country security advisor, who would have operational authority over UN security officers at the duty station, including other agencies’ security officers and personal protection teams and (c) a significant increase in the number of security personnel in the field.

Discussion

The Chairperson informed the Committee that in the proposals that had been presented to the General Assembly’s fifty-eighth (resumed session), an additional $10,745,000 had been approved for security, of which $2,583,000 would automatically fall under the regular budget of the United Nations.  Under current arrangements for cost sharing, the remainder of $8,162,100 would have to be cost-shared; however, if the Secretary-General's proposal to abolish cost-sharing for security costs were to be accepted, this amount would also fall in full to the regular budget.  The decision of cost sharing and the fate of the $8,162,100 was deferred to the 59th General Assembly session.  Similarly, if cost-sharing were to be abolished, the new proposals of the Secretary-General in the fall would add a further $37,803,200 of UNSECOORD field costs to their regular budget as of 1 January 2006, which would otherwise have to be cost-shared.  A group of Member States, "friends of security", was being organized by the Canadian Mission in New York.

Action

Noting that the proposals emanated from a number of independent reviews and investigations, the Committee:

  • Welcomed the proposals, including the new organization structure and approach to financing, which would lead to a strengthened and more coordinated security management system;
  • Agreed that all organizations should be proactive in seeking the support of Member States in their governing bodies or executive boards and to this end would inform the Chairperson of their interventions;
  • Took note of further work that had to be undertaken on such issues as governance, an implementation strategy for the new security management system and strengthened coordination at all headquarters’ locations, including how to maximize partnerships and collaboration with the specialized agencies;
  • Noted that the new UN Security Directorate would not be responsible for security at the headquarters locations of the specialized agencies which would continue their relationships with host governments, the latter being ultimately responsible for the security and safety of personnel; the Committee believed it would be useful for organizations to share information on the initiatives of host governments in this regard;
  • Requested that both security networks, field and headquarters, submit proposals to HLCM on mechanisms that will ensure a robust, well-coordinated global security management system.