New unified security measures for UN to cost $97 million

25 October 2004

New unified security measures proposed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to protect the United Nations and its workers against an escalating number of attacks worldwide will cost some $97 million.

In addition to $35 million needed to bolster the safety of field offices around the world, nearly $28 million will have to be spent to upgrade the premises at the UN complex in New York, pay for more security officers and training, and install new access control measures, according to a cost report released today on recommendations put forward earlier this month.

The budgets for similar improvements at the eight main UN offices are an estimated $16 million for Geneva; more than $3 million each for stations in Nairobi, Santiago de Chile and Addis Ababa; and more than $1 million each for facilities in Bangkok, Beirut and Vienna.

One-time expenditures such as physical improvements to buildings are expected to total $29.6 million.

In his earlier report, the Secretary-General called for combining three separate entities currently responsible for staff safety – the Office of the Security Coordinator, the UN Security and Safety Services and the security component of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations – into a new Directorate of Security to be headed by an Under-Secretary-General reporting directly to him.

The new Directorate will assess threats and risk, and provide common security policies and standards throughout the UN system. Day-to-day decision-making on security matters, meanwhile, will remain with local offices.

“The United Nations can no longer rely on a small group of overextended security advisers who try valiantly to cope, and on a fragmented security management structure that lacks coherence, consistency and the technical capacity to meet the professional standards now required in this new security climate,” Mr. Annan explained in his first report.

“The effort to overhaul the security systems must be a top priority of Member States and of the entire United Nations system,” he said.


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