The Saving Lives Together (SLT) initiative was created in recognition of the fact that the organisations of the UN Security Management System (UNSMS), International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) and International Organisations (IOs) face similar security challenges when operating in volatile environments. SLT was established to provide a framework to improve collaboration on common security concerns and enhance the safe delivery of humanitarian and development assistance.
Objectives and Principles
Saving Lives Together is a series of recommendations aimed at enhancing security collaboration between the United Nations, International Non-Governmental Organisations and International Organisations (“SLT partner organisations”). It recognizes the collectively experienced security threats and the importance of collaboration to ensure the safe delivery of humanitarian and development assistance.
The objective of SLT is to enhance the ability of partner organisations to make informed decisions and implement effective security arrangements to improve the safety and security of personnel and operations. To this end, SLT partner organisations commit to:
- Establish security coordination arrangements and forums;
- Share relevant security information;
- Cooperate on security training;
- Cooperate on operational and logistics arrangements, where feasible;
- Identify resource requirements for enhancing security coordination between the UN, INGOs and IOs, and advocate for funding; and
- Consult on common ground rules for humanitarian action.
It is recognised that SLT partner organisations perceive risks and assess vulnerabilities differently, accept various levels of risks, and implement security arrangements which they consider suitable for their organisation and operational conditions.
In this context, SLT partner organisations accept that they remain fully accountable for the safety and security of their personnel in accordance with their ‘duty of care’ obligations as employing organisations. Accordingly, organisations that wish to cooperate under the SLT Framework are required to maintain internal security risk management procedures, contingency planning and adequate and reliable arrangements to respond to security emergencies.
Implementation of SLT in the field will be achieved through the establishment of collaboration mechanisms at two levels: Regular and Enhanced. The arrangements associated with the two levels are designed to differentiate between “low/medium” and “high/very high” risk areas and the related security and operational conditions.
The SLT arrangements in the field will be supported by UN, INGO and IO headquarters security managers and through the SLT Oversight Committee. A feedback mechanism will be maintained for the resolution of coordination issues which may arise in the field.
Although Saving Lives Together is a voluntary engagement by the SLT partner organisations, the success and effectiveness of the initiative is dependent on the commitment of all participating organisations to work collectively towards the mutual goal of improving the security of personnel, operations and assets. Accordingly, organisations that wish to become SLT partner organisations must commit to the adoption of the principles, objectives and arrangements comprised in this framework.