Chapter 10

Protecting International Cooperation


Sergio Mattarella (second from right ) President of Italy during the 108th Session of the International Labour Conference. © UN Photo - Jean-Marc Ferré

The centenary of the International Labour Organization was celebrated in 2019 at the 108th session of the International Labour Conference. The conference focused on promoting multilateral action to improve working conditions, especially on defining the future of work and on improving working conditions for people affected or displaced by climate change.

More than a dozen world leaders and 6,300 delegates attended the high-level event, held primarily in the Assembly Hall of the Palais des Nations. The challenges in hosting a conference of this size were numerous and required significant planning. The UN Geneva security team developed detailed operating procedures to ensure the safety and coordination of the conference, in collaboration with the International Security Police of the Republic and Canton of Geneva, Switzerland’s Federal Office of Police, and the permanent missions.

To speed up the security screening process and achieve the goals set out in the security plan, additional measures were implemented. These included extra security officers, and five additional X-ray machines stationed in a temporary tent at Pregny Gate.

Ensuring the safety of multilateral meetings and conferences is one of UN Geneva’s most important responsibilities. UN Geneva continues to work tirelessly to support international cooperation on overcoming some of the world’s greatest challenges.

Moscou, a dog with UN Geneva’s specialized K-9 Unit for explosives detection, during of the 108th Session of the International Labour Conference. © UN Photo - Jean-Marc Ferré


© UNFCCC Photo - James Dowson

Climate change is one of the most important issues of our time. In 2019, the world was waiting as delegates prepared to take coordinated action on climate change at the critically important 25th Conference of Parties (COP25) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

The conference had been scheduled for more than a year, to take place in Santiago. UN Geneva Security Services had been developing a complex security plan for months ahead of time, in collaboration with other UN Department of Safety and Security colleagues. On 30 November, following a last-minute decision from the Government of Chile, the conference was cancelled. In order to ensure the important event would take place, it was quickly rescheduled to take place in Madrid, Spain. 

To provide security coverage for more than 22,000 participants, journalists, observers and staff, as well as 50 Heads of State and Government and over 250 ministers and celebrities, a completely new comprehensive plan had to be prepared within four weeks. The UN Geneva security team worked hand in hand with UNFCCC colleagues and Spanish counterparts to ensure the plan was implemented on time.

On 2 December, the 25th UNFCCC Conference of the Parties kicked off at the Madrid Fair Institution (IFEMA). The UNDSS team, comprised of 100 Safety and Security staff from 10 different duty stations, was deployed to COP25 for two weeks.

© UNFCCC Photo - Silvia Pascual

© UNFCCC Photo - Silvia Pascual