CEB reviewed the general security environment in which the staff of the United Nations system were currently operating and the nature and relevance of emerging threats. The Board issued a statement expressing serious concern over the recent number of violent attacks against humanitarian workers and United Nations staff operating in various regions of the world. It called upon all Member States to renew their commitment to the protection of humanitarian workers and to ensure safe and unhindered access to all people in need, in keeping with international law and humanitarian principles.

The Board was of the view that the security and safety of the staff of United Nations system organizations should be treated as one of the highest priorities, and that the issue required urgent attention and commitment. Staff security and safety should be assessed within comprehensive risk management frameworks, providing for the different types of risks linked to the variety of mandates of United Nations system organizations, as current and future security challenges are not and will not be solely linked to terrorism and criminality, but also to conflict situations, to diseases and to an increasing number of natural and man-made disasters, including those resulting from climate change. Security-related assessments and analyses should, therefore, also account for sociological and cultural variables. A critical underpinning for the safety and security of United Nations system staff is the principle that the United Nations system should project itself as an impartial actor to facilitate conflict resolution, both from a substantive and from an external communication perspective, without prejudice to its duty to pronounce itself on violations of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

The Board considered a number of recommendations on operational security issues that the High-Level Committee on Management had elaborated upon in collaboration with the Inter-Agency Security Management Network. The Board agreed on the urgency to take action to strengthen security for all United Nations staff and premises and stressed that security is not an issue that can be left only with security officials but needs to be an integrated part of planning, implementing and monitoring programme delivery. The Committee recommendations, as endorsed by CEB, were transmitted to the Independent Panel on Safety and Security of United Nations Personnel and Premises, to which the Secretary-General had appointed Lakhdar Brahimi as chair. The nature and scope of the recommendations are, therefore, subject to review pending the outcome of the Independent Panel.