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Annan seeks $58 million to reinforce security at UN buildings around the world

Annan seeks $58 million to reinforce security at UN buildings around the world

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has asked for an additional $58 million to reinforce security at UN Headquarters buildings in New York and elsewhere around the world, measures made necessary following the 11 September terror attacks against the United States.

In a report to the UN General Assembly released today, the Secretary-General sets out his proposals for bolstering the Organization’s safety and security over the long-term following a thorough review of system-wide arrangements at the end of last year.

“The assessment of conditions of the United Nations premises in New York, Geneva and Vienna has indicated a need for substantial strengthening of security protection to ensure adequate coverage during sessions of the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council and their subsidiary organs and when United Nations headquarters are visited by heads of State and Government,” Mr. Annan writes.

Among the recommendations for the New York site is the establishment of 56 new posts for security-related functions, including two in the Medical Services Division.

A number of physical upgrades to the buildings and grounds are also recommended, including the installation of ballistic partitions in several areas such as the General Assembly Hall and the Security Council, and a new perimeter fence incorporating alarms and closed-circuit television cameras.

The report also suggests conducting an extensive overhaul of the current fire alarm system, installing sensors to detect gas, chemical and biological threats and improving the Organization’s communications infrastructure by adding a one-way paging network.

The total cost of the proposals for the 2002-03 biennium relating to the New York Headquarters alone amount to more than $36 million.