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Threat response and risk mitigation: security governance

Soldier handling chemical weapon

In response to the growing range of multi-dimensional, crosscutting and cross-border threats to both the very stability of Member States and their populations, UNICRI contributes to mitigate national risks with a view toward increasing safety and security globally. To this end, the Institute supports the development of strategies that identify specific and actionable means of preventing, detecting and responding to a wide variety of risks.

Additionally, UNICRI has invested in the development and testing of innovative ideas and had promoted globally the lessons learned and good practices identified locally.

UNICRI’s Security Governance approach is build upon several common principles. First, UNICRI promotes the investment in safety and security, since the costs of prevention are much lower than the cost of recovery. Second, public capacity alone has proven to be insufficient to address safety and security issues. Therefore, UNICRI facilitates coordination among the different stakeholders and create partnerships with the private sector to allow for resource optimization, a holistic approach and the incorporation of innovative technologies and approaches. Third, UNICRI recognizes that trust is needed to overcome obstacles in multi-stakeholder cooperation and, therefore, the Institutes invests in the creation of trusted communities. Fourth, UNICRI will continue to enhance its methodology for security planning relying on a flexible approach to ensure that Member States and relevant authorities can easily adapt to the changing security environment. Finally, to ensure sustainability, it is crucial that local authorities have the ownership of the safety and security plan and are ever more empowered to access internationally available recourses to address safety and security needs.

UNICRI has been operational in this respect since 2001, building trusted partnerships with 95 Members States on a broad range of issues related to national and international safety and security. UNICRI supports Members State to mitigate risks related to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) material, improve security at major events, protect crowded spaces and vulnerable targets, ensure tourism security, improve community resilience to terrorism attack/threats, improve cyber security and promote the safety and security aspects of biotechnology. In the application of its Security Governance approach in each of these areas, UNICRI has established fruitful interactions with international and regional organizations, governmental and non-governmental entities, the private sector, civil society organizations, and universities.

The main outcomes of UNICRI's work led to:

  1. Increased number of Member States have established non-invasive, integrated and holistic safety and security planning policies (documentation, coordination and local ownership).
  2. Improved inter-agency cooperation at the national, regional and international levels to more effectively allocate resources to improve safety and security (National action plans used, and donor coordination takes place)
  3. Enhanced capacity of Member States to prevent, detect and respond to security threats facilitated