For many people, today’s world is an insecure place, full of threats on many fronts. Protracted crises, violent conflicts, natural disasters, persistent poverty, epidemics and economic downturns impose hardships and undercut prospects for peace, stability, and sustainable development.  Such crises are complex, entailing multiple forms of human insecurity. When they overlap, they can grow exponentially, spilling into all aspects of people’s lives, destroying entire communities and crossing national borders.

As noted in General Assembly resolution 66/290, “human security is an approach to assist Member States in identifying and addressing widespread and cross-cutting challenges to the survival, livelihood and dignity of their people.” It calls for “people-centred, comprehensive, context-specific and prevention-oriented responses that strengthen the protection and empowerment of all people.”


The human security approach is a proven analytical and planning framework that supports more comprehensive and preventive responses by the United Nations, cutting across sectors, developing contextually relevant solutions, and adopting partnerships to help realise a world free from fear, want and indignity.

From coordination to integration

The application of human security advances comprehensive responses that address the multidimensional causes and consequences of complex challenges. As such, it calls for integrated actions among a network of stakeholders to ensure lasting responses to the most difficult deficits in peace and development.

Promoting multi-stakeholder partnerships

Human security draws together the expertise and resources of a wide range of actors from the United Nations system, Governments, private sector, civil society and local communities. This allows for seizing synergies that capitalize on the comparative advantages of various stakeholders.

Localisation and ‘leaving no one behind’

Recognizing that the root causes and manifestations of challenges vary significantly across countries and communities, human security promotes responses that are grounded in local realities. It helps localise international and national agendas to ensure that no one is left behind.

Prevention and resilience

Prevention is the core objective of human security. It addresses the root causes of vulnerabilities, focuses attention on emerging risks and emphasizes early action. It strengthens local capacities to build resilience, and promotes solutions that enhance social cohesion and advance respect for human rights and dignity.


Programmes applying the human security approach and supported by the UN Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS) have a well-established track record and proven value. They have reinforced United Nations support to Member States in strengthening resilience to climate change and natural disasters; promoting peaceful and inclusive societies; addressing the underlying causes of persistent poverty; and bolstering the transition from humanitarian crisis to longer term sustainable development. As such, the application of human security can significantly enhance actions taken by the United Nations and its partners to fully realize the transformative promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the Sustaining Peace Agenda.