CEB attaches highest importance to the issue of staff safety and security. Through the High-level Committee on Management and under the leadership of the Department of Safety and Security of the United Nations Secretariat, CEB has continued to make consistent progress on issues relating to staff safety and security with the active engagement by all members of the Inter-Agency Security Management Network. As of 1 January 2011, the new security level system has been operational. This new system, together with the development of a more robust threat analysis programme, allows for the analysis and rating of threats globally by using common criteria.

At its fall 2011 session, the CEB High-level Committee on Management endorsed the last outstanding piece of the redesigned United Nations Security Management System, which responds to the complex and shifting security challenges faced by United Nations staff, and to the adoption of the “how to stay” in lieu of “when to leave” approach: the programme criticality framework. This new tool, which was developed after extensive consultations at headquarters and field levels, including field testing in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya and Somalia, will help decision-making around programme presence in challenging country situations. The programme criticality framework will be rolled out in 12 pilot countries, and a consolidated progress report, including lessons learned and recommended adjustments, is expected in the beginning of 2013.

Progress has also been made regarding policy formulation in collaboration with the Inter-Agency Security Management Network. In the course of the reporting period, the High-level Committee on Management endorsed a series of new and updated policies on road safety, arrest and detention, close protection, hostage incident management, relations with the host country on security, and fire safety. In addition, the Department of Safety and Security and the Inter-Agency Security Management Network are currently developing a policy and guidelines for the use of private security companies. The policy will be submitted to the Committee and CEB for approval at their fall 2012 sessions.

Under procedures set up for the United Nations Medical Emergency Response Team which had been first endorsed by the Committee in 2004, followed by an endorsement of the medical directors plan in 2009, the Team was mobilized within 24 hours in the case of the bombing in Abuja in August 2011. The concerted response by the Critical Incident Stress Counselling Unit of the Department of Safety and Security, the medical emergency teams and the security and administrative components of the agencies, funds and programmes was recognized as a commendable example of a coordinated and effective system-wide intervention. This was owing largely to the availability of greater resources and to the lessons learned in the aftermath of earlier attacks against the United Nations in Iraq and Algeria.