Background

The Secretary-General indicated that he had submitted a report to the General Assembly, with proposals for a strengthened and unified security management system that would be financed centrally through the regular budget. He regarded security as a core responsibility of Member States and would personally present the report to the Assembly on 1 November 2005 to highlight the fundamental importance of this issue for the future of United Nations operations and activities throughout the world.  The Chair of HLCM briefed CEB on the outcome of the Committee’s work on the safety and security of staff.

Discussion

CEB members confirmed full support for the Secretary-General’s proposals on the strengthening of the security management system and arrangements for its funding. They considered that their endorsement in the General Assembly would have a major positive impact not only on the sense of security of staff but also on their morale and their capacity to focus and accomplish effectively their work and responsibilities.

CEB members raised other security-related concerns that would also require urgent attention. This included the need for a policy on the payment of a security allowance for both international and local or national staff, and their families; the importance of ensuring that the staff understood that security is not only the responsibility of security officers but also of themselves; and that Member States need to be reminded of the inviolability of United Nations premises and their responsibility for securing them. With respect to the latter, CEB members underscored the need for unity and cohesion among organizations of the system when dealing with host countries on matters concerning security arrangements. There is also the need for organizations of the system to adapt to a changed security environment, in which they may become deliberate targets.

Action

CEB welcomed the progress in the work of the Inter-Agency Security Management Network, the outcome of the 2004 census of United Nations system staff members and the situation of contingency planning and emergency preparedness in the organizations and bodies of the system.