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Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) for the Protection of Vulnerable Targets

The maintenance of an adequate security governance capacity today represents a significant challenge. Analyses of the different security risks, threats and vulnerabilities we all potentially face on a daily basis is becoming ever more complex and the cost of implementing effective prevention strategies and having robust response options prepared continues to rise - unfortunately in a climate of ongoing reductions in governmental spending on public sector security governance capacity.

Enhanced cooperation between the public and private sectors is therefore essential to protect people and property, particularly when they gather in large numbers at locations regarded as vulnerable targets – places such as hotels, tourism and recreational sites, markets, land transport facilities and retail, business and financial centres.

UNICRI has accordingly, in terms of its role within the UN Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF), developed public private partnership (PPP) initiatives and flagship projects that bring together public authorities and private sector stakeholders to enhance the protection of vulnerable targets.

The Institute’s work is founded on the assumption that, while the responsibility for security lies with State authorities, the protection of the multitude of vulnerable targets all around the world requires the active participation of the business community and civil society. With this backdrop, UNICRI launched the “Centre on Public-Private Security Policies”, as part of its security governance approach to countering terrorism and other major security threats.

The Centre, inaugurated on 22 September 2009, is hosted by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of Portugal and supported by a consortium of private donors, Águas de Portugal, Banco Espírito Santo, Banco BPI, Caixa Geral de Depósitos, CTT, Galp Energia, Grupo 8, Millennium BCP, Refer and REN.

Amongst other things, the Centre implements the Public-Private Security Policies Programme and aims to facilitate and strengthen international dialogue on the protection of vulnerable targets and to promote regional, national and local initiatives through the identification, development and testing of innovative security cooperation models.

The Centre in Lisbon is also engaged in the development of a regional programme in cooperation with the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries/Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa – (CPLP).

Our vision for public private partnerships (PPPs) involves stakeholders engaging beyond the strictly controlled terms of contracted service provision to elaborate how they can together harness and jointly utilize available skills, experience, resources and capacity, in important action oriented security governance activities that, without such collaboration, would either not be possible or not done so well.

To support stakeholders in their efforts, UNICRI has published a “Handbook to Assist the Establishment of Public-Private Partnerships to Protect Vulnerable Targets,” which was produced in collaboration with public and private sector representatives from around the world.

UNICRI’s achievements in terms of piloting, brokering and institutionalizing public-private joint endeavours in Portugal and elsewhere include: the testing and establishment of a communication platform enhancing public-private security cooperation in Lisbon’s Taguspark Science and Technology park; and, the implementation of an Advanced Training Course for Security Directors in cooperation with the Higher Institute of Police/Instituto Superior de Ciências Policiais e Segurança Interna.

UNICRI's action is also focused in:

  • Promoting PPP concepts, raise awareness on the subject and facilitate the establishment of PPP initiatives in cooperation with identified Member States, public authorities and private sector entities, and in partnership with regional organizations
  • Providing advice and assistance, upon Member States request, on PPP related organizational and communication matters at national and/or local levels
  • Providing training, support and mentoring services on focused topics to help synergize and enhance public and private security strategies, responses and capacity
  • Interlinking PPP initiatives to create opportunities to exchange information on ideas and practices, experiences and tools and to promote common principles and consistency in approach

UNICRI’s projects on security at major events are successful examples of an integrated working modality that streamlines PPP principles in security planning.

UNICRI will continue to further enhance its strategy to continue to meet both stakeholders’ needs and the terms of the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy which specifically encourages public and private sector co-operation in capacity building programs.

Bringing together all available resources and expertise from the private and public sectors, and creating trust between different stakeholders are key elements in the achievement of the common aim, namely to protect vulnerable targets and safeguard people’s fundamental right to freedom and security. A safer world, utilising public-private partnerships to further enhance security governance for the greater public good, is UNICRI’s goal.

Available tools

Handbook to Assist the Establishment of Public-Private Partnerships to Protect Vulnerable Targets

PPP Principles for the Protection of Vulnerable Targets

EU SEC Manual IPO Planning Model