Emerging Security Threats

Current Areas of Work:

   • Cyber
   • Outer Space Security
   • EST Concepts & Other Work



UNIDIR’s Emerging Security Threats Programme (EST) engages with high-level actors to build solutions for the challenges and risks to international security that arise in rapidly changing or emerging sectors. These sectors include atypical domains which cut across traditional legal and national boundaries as well as those categories of technology which are of increasing interest to the international security community.

The EST portfolio is presently comprised of breakthrough work in domains such as outer space, cyberspace, life sciences and sources of environmental conflict. This work carries a particular emphasis on the future sustainability of those domains and the particular facets which could act as triggers for conflict as well as acknowledging the impacts of instability on socio-economic development.

Due to the progressive nature of EST’s focus sectors, the programme is heavily engaged in areas where there are restricted or non-existent patterns of interaction. In this highly-specialised niche, UNIDIR plays a critical role in building intellectual foundations for key stakeholders as well as providing forward-thinking policy analysis and tools with which the international community can more effectively tackle emerging challenges to security.

EST's work encompasses of policy innovation, facilitation and support of multilateral processes as well as the generation of original, pragmatic research and content. Furthermore, EST’s extensive expertise and relationships in the sphere of emerging security threats extends the scope of UNIDIR as a bridge between academia, civil society, NGOs, governments and policymakers with an emphasis on the cutting edge issues and concerns of the future.