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BigLogo.gif UN Member States on the Record
International NGOs recognize UN contribution to staff security
22 June 2010 / 11:53

[Dateline: New York | Author: DSS]

The security advisory group of Interaction, an international non-governmental organization (NGO) representing the largest coalition of U.S based international NGOs which includes 180 members focusing on the worlds poor and vulnerable, presented its distinguished Service Award to Robert Painter, a Senior Security Specialist in the Department of Safety and Security (DSS) for his support in the 'Saving Lives Together' Initiative (SLT).

'Saving Lives Together' is a framework for the United Nations and INGOs to collaborate on security matters. Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security, Gregory B. Starr, presented the award which Mr. Painter accepted on behalf of the organization.

The Service Award is given out annually to recognize exceptional performance by security professionals. It is given to individuals who make a significant contribution to enhancing the ability of INGOs to better protect their personnel, assets and operations overseas.

Mr. Painter has held the position of Senior Security Specialist for the United Nations Department of Safety and Security since 2006. He brings in 20 years of experience with international organizations in the field of humanitarian affairs and security management. He has worked in various locations including Sudan, Sierra Leone, Serbia and Iraq. Mr. Painter has focused his efforts on developing the 'Saving Lives Together' initiative which is a framework for UN/NGO security collaboration.

'Saving Lives Together' brings together a set of recommendations to promote the sharing of information, resources and best practices between the UN community and INGOs. It was developed following a high level humanitarian forum in 2004 led by the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator and subsequently endorsed at the inter-agency level by the Chief Executives’ Board (CEB). 'Saving Lives Together' serves to further the humanitarian mandate, encouraged by annual resolutions by the General Assembly on the Safety and Security of United Nations and associated personnel. It is now incorporated into all the United Nations Security Management System’s training programmes.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is the primary facilitator and custodian of Saving Lives Together. Despite relying on extra-budgetary funding for this purpose, the UN Department of Safety and Security is encouraged to further these efforts and its actions in this regard are guided by the Inter-Agency Security Management Network, in close cooperation with OCHA and the Inter-Agency Security Committee (IASC).

As such, the UN Department of Safety and Security carries out its work through a group of NGOs recognized by the General Assembly - International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), Interaction, the Steering Committee on Humanitarian Response (SCHR), and also through a regular working relationship with some eighty of the Inter-Agency Security Committees INGO security focal points at the headquarters level.

The security challenges humanitarian organisations face today are unprecedented, with the value of traditional acceptance strategies now drastically reduced and a greater reliance on deterrents and protection. Fulfilling humanitarian mandates demands innovative new strategies and approaches and 'Saving Lives Together' provides a forum for developing and refining such strategies.

The department notes with appreciation the enhanced security consciousness and willingness to cooperate on security matters among local and international NGOs in the field, as well as the efforts of the donor organisations of Member States that have fostered and contributed to these efforts through the provision of generous resources.