Security and Protective Services

In accordance with its obligations under the United Nations Headquarters Agreement, the United States, as host country to the United Nations, is committed to assuring the safety and security of the United Nations Headquarters, the Permanent and Observer Missions accredited to the United Nations, and the members of the United Nations diplomatic community. This responsibility is one of the most important of our obligations, and is codified in United States law under the Act for the Protection of Foreign Officials and Official Guests of the United States (Public Law 92-539, 86 STAT.1070)

The Host Country Affairs Section of the United States Mission to the United Nations helps to assure the safety and security of the United Nations diplomatic community by acting as liaison between that community and the myriad local, state, and federal agencies with the ability, responsibility and expertise in providing investigative, security, and law enforcement services. Among the many agencies involved are the New York City (and other metropolitan area) Police Department(s), the United States Department of State Diplomatic Security Service (DS), The United States Secret Service (USSS), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The United States Mission and the host country’s law enforcement organizations take this obligation and responsibility very seriously, and are justifiably proud of our excellent record in this area, as documented in the annual report of the United Nations Committee on Relations with the Host Country.

In addition to these daily responsibilities and obligations, the United States receives large numbers of Heads of State and Heads of Government and other high-ranking foreign visitors to New York and the United Nations Headquarters every year. The host country provides these distinguished visitors and their accompanying parties protective and other facilitation services while they are here.

Heads of State and Heads of Government automatically receive the protective services of the United States Secret Service under United States law. Notification of pending visits of these individuals should be made at least three days in advance of their scheduled arrival by either the respective Embassy or United Nations Mission or Observer Office. Embassies should notify the United States Department of State Office of Protocol at (202) 647-4074, or by fax at (202) 647-0722. Permanent Missions or Observer Offices may wish to notify the United States Mission Host Country Affairs Section at (212) 415-4156 or by fax at (212) 415-4162. Regardless of which venue is chosen by the visiting dignitary’s representatives, the Host Country Affairs Section should receive copies of all relevant paperwork and requests in order to be of service during the visit.

All other requests for protective services from the host country are based on a current threat evaluation provided by the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, and should be forwarded as noted above. As stated above, requests should be made at least seventy-two hours in advance of the scheduled arrival.

If the high-ranking visitor(s) are arriving via government or other non-commercial flight, arrangements for diplomatic over-flight and landing clearance must be made in advance by contacting the United States Department of State Bureau of Political Military Affairs at (202) 736-7158; forms for requesting this clearance are available at the hyperlink above “UNGA Arrival/Departure Booklet”.

Please note that neither the United States Department of State Office of Protocol nor the United States Mission to the United Nations meet foreign visitors at any of the New York Area airports, and due to security regulations, the United States Customs and Border Protection and the Port Authority Police strictly limit access to restricted areas at these airports. Additional detailed information is available at the “UNGA Arrival/Departure” site. This booklet, while titled for UNGA 61, contains valuable information which is useful for all VIP arrivals and departures throughout the year.