UN General Assembly Resolutions and Debates, and Reports of the Secretary-General on Human Security
General Assembly Resolutions
The Resolution saw the General Assembly agree that the human security approach identifies and addresses widespread and interrelated challenges to the survival, livelihood, and dignity of their people. Based on this, a common understanding of human security was agreed upon: the right of people to live in freedom and dignity, free from poverty and despair.
The General Assembly recognised ongoing efforts to define the notion of human security, and noted the need to continue the discussion and achieve an agreement on the definition of human security for the use of the General Assembly.
General Assembly Debates
A thematic debate on the human security approach took place on 18 June 2014. The debate aimed to enable Member States to respond to the recommendations contained in the latest report of the Secretary-General, and to provide an opportunity for an exchange of views on how human security can be included in the next development framework.
The General Assembly met to consider the Secretary-General’s report “Follow-up to General Assembly Resolution 64/291 on Human Security (A/66/763)”. The report was prepared pursuant to General Assembly resolution 64/291, in which the Assembly requested the Secretary-General seek the views of Member States on the notion of human security, including a possible definition thereof, and to submit a report to the Assembly at its sixty-sixth session.
General Assembly Informal Thematic Debate on Human Security, 14 April 2011
The informal thematic debate took place on 14 April 2011 at UN Headquarters in New York. The debate, which consisted of two moderated panel discussions with high-level experts, focused on a possible approach to defining human security and its added value as a practical approach to addressing the growing interrelation of threats to peace and development for people on the ground. The floor was opened to delegates for questions to the panelists, as well as interventions.
The General Assembly met to consider the Secretary-General’s recent report on human security (document A/64/701), and held a panel discussion on “People-Centred Responses: The Added Value of Human Security” on 20-21 May 2010. The report provides an update on developments related to the advancement of that concept over the past five years and takes stock of discussions on human security, its various definitions and its relationship to State sovereignty and the responsibility to protect
As a follow-up to the commitment expressed by the Members States, H.E. Srgjan Kerim, President of the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly, invited all Permanent Representatives and Permanent Observers to the United Nations to an informal thematic debate of the General Assembly on human security. The aim of the informal thematic debate was to reflect on human security’s multidimensional scope and to explore ways to make further progress on the initial reference to human security in paragraph 143 of the “2005 World Summit Outcome Document“.
Reports of the Secretary-General and UN Bodies
This report is based on a wealth of information gathered in response to questionnaires sent to Governments of all Member States, regional organizations, components of the United Nations system, academic and research institutions, and non-governmental organizations. It provides numerous examples, across a range of thematic areas, where the value of the human security approach is beneficial to our determination to reduce the likelihood of conflicts, overcome the obstacles to sustainable development and promote a life of dignity for all. From these experiences, critical lessons have been learned, such as the importance of advancing inclusive and people-centered solutions, the need to tailor national strategies and international responses to the multi-dimensional context of vulnerabilities at the local level and the significance of comprehensive approaches based on a more integrated United Nations system, in partnership with Governments and people. The report closes with a set of recommendations which aim to promote the mainstreaming of human security into the activities of the United Nations system as well as its application as an overarching framework in the post-2015 Development Agenda.
This report has been prepared pursuant to General Assembly resolution 64/291, in which the Assembly requested the Secretary-General seek the views of Member States on the notion of human security, including a possible definition thereof, and to submit a report to the Assembly at its sixty-sixth session. In accordance with that resolution, Governments of all Member States were invited to provide their views through written submissions and informal consultations with the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Human Security. Based on contributions from Member States, the report provides a summary of discussions on human security at the General Assembly, outlines key aspects towards forming a common understanding on the notion of human security, suggests a common understanding on human security, based on the views expressed by Member States, and considers areas where the application of human security can bring added value to the work of the Organization. The report closes with a set of recommendations for the consideration of Member States.
This report was submitted pursuant to paragraph 143 of the “2005 World Summit Outcome Document” (General Assembly resolution 60/1), in which the Heads of State and Government committed themselves to discuss and define the notion of human security. The report provided an update on developments related to the advancement of human security since the 2005 World Summit. It took stock of discussions on human security, its various definitions and its relationship to State sovereignty and the responsibility to protect. The report also outlined the principles and the approach for advancing human security and its application to the current priorities of the United Nations. Key human security initiatives undertaken by Governments, regional and sub-regional intergovernmental organizations and the organizations and bodies of the United Nations system were presented as examples of the reach of this important concept and its growing acceptance. The report concluded by identifying the core elements and the added value of human security, and provided a set of recommendations as a follow-up to the above-mentioned commitment.
In 2005, Secretary-General Kofi Annan presented this five-year progress report on the implementation of the Millennium Declaration, as requested by the United Nations General Assembly. The report set out priorities for action in the fields of development, security and human rights, and asked countries to adopt a comprehensive national strategy to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. The report noted that the Millennium Declaration reaffirmed the commitment of all nations to the rule of law as the all-important framework for advancing human security.
This report noted that development and security are inextricably linked. The report stated that while extreme poverty and infectious diseases threaten many people directly, they can also provide a fertile environment for the emergence of other threats, including civil conflict. Importantly, the report found that the principal aim of the United Nations should be to prevent threats from emerging, and therefore the United Nations should seek to adopt a prevention-oriented approach.
The Commission on Human Security was established in January 2001 in response to the UN Secretary-General’s call at the 2000 Millennium Summit for a world “free of want” and “free of fear.” On 1 May 2003, Co-Chairs of the Commission on Human Security, Sadako Ogata and Amartya Sen, presented this final report to the United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan.