19 April 2013
Press Release
Note No. 6389

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Note to Correspondents

Secretary-General to Open High-level Event on Human Security


at United Nations Headquarters, 8 May


In recognition of an interconnected world in which threats can spread rapidly within and across countries, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will open a high-level event on human security at United Nations Headquarters on 8 May.

The event, which reaffirms General Assembly resolution 66/290 on advancing a common understanding of human security, is an important occasion to review lessons learned in translating the human security approach into practical action.

The human security approach was developed in response to the complex and multiple challenges of today — from internal conflicts to climate change, financial crises and health pandemics — which seriously threaten the lives, livelihoods and dignity of millions of people.  Often, it is the most vulnerable who endure the worst effects of natural or man-made disasters, poverty and violent conflicts.  The resulting loss of human and social capital can lead to increased tensions and instability.

Addressing the event following Secretary-General Ban’s opening remarks will be Sadako Ogata, former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, and Co-Chair of the Commission on Human Security, and Surin Pitsuwan, former Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Minister for Foreign Affairs of Thailand, and member of the Commission on Human Security.  They will reflect on achievements and challenges in the implementation of human security 10 years after the release of the Commission on Human Security’s report “Human Security Now”.

Sonia Picado, Chair of the Advisory Board on Human Security, will introduce the work of that entity — whose international experts guide the activities of the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security — and discuss its hopes for spurring a global initiative on human security.

That will be followed by the screening of a brief documentary on human security and the work of the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security, which has funded more than 200 projects in 85 countries since 1999.  A panel discussion will follow, featuring delegations from Member States and senior officials from United Nations agencies.  Panellists will explore the full range of lessons learned from implementing the human security approach, including its value in enhancing coordination across the United Nations system.

Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, will close the high-level event, which have in attendance members of the Advisory Board on Human Security, individuals from academia, as well as representatives of non-governmental and civil society organizations with an interest in human security and related issues.

About the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security

The United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security was established within the United Nations Secretariat in 1999 with the aim of translating the human security approach into practical action.  It does that by supporting projects led by United Nations entities that demonstrate the added value of the approach in addressing multiple insecurities.  Administered by the Human Security Unit, the Trust Fund has financed more than 200 projects that have brought concrete and sustainable benefits to vulnerable people and communities whose survival, livelihoods and dignity were under threat.  Its most recent publication, Human Security:  Lessons from the Field, details the added value of implementing a human security framework in addressing issues including peacebuilding, climate change, migration, poverty, urban violence and poor health.

For further information, please contact Mehrnaz Mostafavi, Human Security Unit, at tel.:  +1 917 367 2239, e-mail:  mostafavi@un.org.

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For information media • not an official record