In recent decades, the increasing deployment of missions to non-permissive security environments has led the United Nations to consider the deployment of guard units to protect United Nations personnel and premises.
A United Nations guard unit is a formed unit deployed under a memorandum of understanding with a troop- or police-contributing country, which is reimbursed for its personnel and contingent-owned equipment as part of the standard frameworks established by the General Assembly.
The deployment of a guard unit is a possible security risk management option when other preferred security risk management options have been exhausted. The decision to deploy a guard unit begins with a needs assessment, followed by a request for authorization through an exchange of letters with either the Security Council or the General Assembly, based on which intergovernmental body established the mission in question.
Guard units have been deployed in the following situations:
|Exchange of letters||Mission||Notes|
|S/2004/764 and S/2014/765||UNAMI||Authorized deployment of three formed guard units of 160 armed civilian police, paramilitary or military personnel|
|S/2013/636 and S/2013/637||BINUCA||Authorized deployment of an initial 250 military personnel, which was planned to be expanded to a battalion-sized unit of 560 personnel|
|S/2013/704 and S/2013/705||UNSMIL||Authorized deployment of a guard unit of up to 235 military personnel|
| S/2013/764 and S/2013/765;
S/2015/234 and S/2015/235;
S/2019/140 and S/2019/141
|UNSOM|| (2013) Authorized guard unit consisting of a battalion, an extraction and reinforcement team and a logistics company, totaling 410 personnel|
(2015) Authorized increase in strength by 120 troops, to 530 personnel
(2019) Authorized increase in strength by 95 troops, to 625 personnel
- UNDSS/SOP/1/2015 Deployment of United Nations Guard Units (SOP)
- In S/2013/696, the Security Council was informed that these would be provided by Morocco
- In S/2014/239, the Security Council was informed that these would be provided by Uganda
- in S/2019/372, the Security Council was informed that these would be provided by Uganda