Inter-Agency Working Group on HS

The Inter-Agency Working Group on Human Security (IAWGHS) includes representatives from the three pillars of the United Nations system – development, peace and security, and human rights – as well as people with practical experience in the application of human security. It deliberates on how to best apply the human security approach in responding to cross-cutting priority areas of the international community and the United Nations system.


Among its activities, the IAWGHS contributed to the Framework for Cooperation for the System-wide Application of Human Security endorsed in September 2015. The overall approach of the Framework is one of voluntary partnership among United Nations entities to apply more effectively the combined principles that underpin the human security approach at headquarters and at the country level. In doing so, the advancement of human security fosters greater collaboration to implement system-wide responses by the different parts of the United Nations. It helps break through institutional silos, and has provided a framework for United Nations entities, particularly at the country level, to work together in a more integrated, coherent and efficient manner.


Most of today’s development or humanitarian challenges arise from multiple factors that are interconnected and mutually reinforcing. For people in crises, acting on single issues is not enough. Instead, they require greater integration of activities across the United Nations system and in partnership with others. The system-wide application of human security is both timely and essential in meeting the priorities of the Secretary-General towards a more integrated United Nations system with greater emphasis on prevention and the promise of sustainable peace, development and human rights for all.

The Framework identifies four indicative contemporary challenges that require a comprehensive framework that is both universal and adaptable, and that involves the interplay between headquarters and field based activities. These examples include: supporting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; improving the effectiveness of the United Nations system through “Delivering as One”; strengthening transitional and integrated responses in crisis-affected settings; and enhancing disaster risk reduction.

The Framework further outlines a range of actions that seek to advance a unified approach to mainstreaming human security in the work of the United Nations system. They include efforts at headquarters and the country level to better share information on best practices and lessons learned, develop and strengthen the capacity of staff and undertake country level reviews to highlight areas where human security could best support national priorities, meet emerging challenges, enhance multi-stakeholder partnerships, and increase programme effectiveness.


Framework for Cooperation for the System-wide Application of Human Security

Human Security and Delivering as One