03 May 2022: Highlighting the link between gender equality, women’s empowerment and human security in the Caribbean countries

Launched in October 2019, the UNTFHS Caribbean joint programme has been advancing human security for farmers and small agro- and fisheries business entrepreneurs, many of whom are women, through a combination of policy reform advocacy, technical support and services. To this end, the UN Country Team recently developed a brochure to illustrate how a focus on human security, gender equality and women’s empowerment is pivotal for advancing progress on the SDGs and climate action. The brochure underscores how the application of human security can help advance gender equality and why gender equality is required to achieve human security. It also suggests practical actions to enhance the agency and inclusion of women in different countries and contexts.
A copy of the brochure can be downloaded here.

10 March 2022: Programme To Address Herdsmen-Farmers Conflict In Nigeria Enters Final Phase

In October 2018, UNDP, UNHCR and FAO began implementing a UNTFHS-funded pilot programme in the Nigerian states of Benue and Nasarawa. The primary goal of this programme was to understand and contribute to ending the ongoing conflict between herders and farmers in the country’s Middle Belt states. Due to the complex and multidimensional origins of these tensions as well as their threat to peace and development, the UN Country Team and partners recognized the need to develop an integrated initiative that applies the human security approach to leverage the humanitarian-development-peace nexus and enhance the ability of affected populations to identify and mitigate risks and threats in their own communities.

Entering its final phase, the programme has already reached important milestones, including the formation of 10 different community-based Protection Action Groups (PAGs) in addition to other peacebuilding architectures, the construction of 89 shelters to house over 500 displaced persons in the Guma region of Benue, and the training of 400 beneficiaries using livelihood and economic empowerment frameworks. The programme has also pursued an innovative outreach and communications strategy, which includes the recent production of a 12-part radio drama centered on the herdsman-farmers conflict. This radio series aired in Nigerian pidgin during primary listening hours incorporated the diverse viewpoints of several affected communities in an effort to raise community awareness on peaceful coexistence and increase local participation.

In the final phase, the programme is working towards organizing a regional conference where local representatives can participate in the development of a National and Regional Herdsmen-Farmers’ Framework as part of a larger effort to ensure peaceful coexistence. For more information on this programme, visit the programme page.

17 February 2022: Community-led Initiatives Strengthen Security And Local Cohesion In Sierra Leone’s Kono District

Last January marked the beginning of the 2-year joint programme in Sierra Leone which applies the human security approach to address development challenges and strengthen social cohesion in the country’s remote Kono District. This region, in recent years, has struggled with high levels of civil conflict and social tension which have inhibited the impact of local development and humanitarian programmes.

Recognizing that meaningful development cannot exist without comprehensive human security, the programme is designed to ensure transformational community governance through empowerment, knowledge, and diverse input to decision making, whilst enabling sustainable agriculture, food security, livelihood and economic diversity and resilience. Together, these mutually reinforcing protection and empowerment initiatives support the community’s cohesiveness, livelihood, and dignity.

Throughout the programme’s first year of implementation, the team has met their goals of establishing several community-led initiatives to strengthen security and local cohesion as a foundational element for economic empowerment. These efforts include conducting 11 youth-centered peacebuilding sessions, establishing a Grievance Resolution Committee in each chiefdom, and selecting and training 240 women peace ambassadors to help identify early warning signs of conflict and address grievances in their communities. These initiatives have intersected with other regional efforts to enhance agricultural productivity and improve WASH infrastructure, and will help to ensure the continued security, as well as development, of the Kono District. For more information on this programme, visit the programme page.

8 February 2022: Global Launch Of The 2022 Special Report On Human Security “New Threats To Human Security In The Anthropocene: Demanding Greater Solidarity”

On 8th February, UNDP launched the 2022 Special Report on Human Security with the aim to explore how a new generation of interacting threats, playing out in the Anthropocene context, affect human security and what to do about it.

Despite people on average living longer, healthier and wealthier lives, these advances have not succeeded in increasing people’s sense of security. This is true for countries across the development spectrum, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, with perceptions of insecurity worsening in several high-income countries.

Such disconnect between improvements in people’s wellbeing and declines in their perception of security is what the report seeks to address. Focusing on a cluster of threats that have shifted to become more prominent in recent years, including the downsides of digital technology, violent conflicts, horizontal inequalities, and the evolving challenges to healthcare systems, the report underscores the necessity for human security and how its application can be a unifying framework to help address unprecedented challenges that have been building over time, are interlinked, and confront all countries.

To kick off a global conversation on human security, the launch event brought together a diverse set of voices and perspectives from the UN system, governments and the academia. This event is the first in what will be an active calendar for human security in 2022.

For more on the report and the launch event here

11 January 2021: Online Global Event on Critical Public-Private Partnerships for Sustainable Development

LSE IDEAS, in partnership with UNTFHS, organized an online event entitled: Critical Partnerships for Sustainable Development. In this keynote lecture, the head of UNDP, Achim Steiner, discussed the need to step up multi-stakeholder cooperation and collective efforts between public and private sectors to combat rising poverty and inequality, violence that particularly affects women and girls, and economic fragility, that are exacerbated by current crises like COVID-19 and climate change.

The lecture also marked the launch of the LSE IDEAS’ report Maximising business contributions to sustainable development and positive peace. A human security approach. The report sets out what a human security approach means for business, and highlights issue areas such as information technology, impact investing, and migration, where the private sector can make a difference through helping to build resilient communities and delivering the SDGs.

Read more about the lecture on our event page and watch the full event here.

21 December 2021: Launch of the Guidance Note, Leave No One Behind: Harnessing lessons learned from implementing the human security approach

Today the Human Security Unit launches another guidance note entitled, Leave No One Behind: Harnessing lessons learned from implementing the human security approach. Based on 20 years of programmes supported by the UNTFHS, this guidance note aims to complement the UN Sustainable Development Group’s Operational Guide for UN Country Teams.

To leave no one behind is central to the transformative promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This guidance note gathers lessons from the UNTFHS’ wealth of experiences in diverse contexts and outlines a methodology to identify who is furthest behind, unpack the root causes and drivers of multiple and overlapping deprivations and disadvantage, and guide the development of responses that can help reverse trends in inequalities over the long term. Moreover, it enriches the UNSDG’s Operational Guide on the analytical, planning and partnership processes that help operationalize the commitment to leave no one behind.

22 November 2021: Launch of the Online Interactive Training Course on Human Security

Human Security Approach: From Principles to Practice – An Interactive Training Course, developed by the Human Security Unit (HSU) and the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) is launched. This course is designed for anyone interested in learning more about the human security approach and how to apply it to develop policies and programmes that are better suited to prevent and respond to current and emerging challenges that limit people’s aspirations to live in peace and prosperity. The course combines dynamic learning methods and case study application broken down into six easy-to-follow modules. Upon completion of all six modules, a certificate will be provided. The entire course is available at the UNSSC website [link], and the first two introductory modules can be viewed on the HSU website [Module 1] and [Module 2]. Learn more [link].

27 October 2021: Launch of the guidance note, Realizing the triple nexus: Experiences from implementing the human security approach

Today the Human Security Unit launches the guidance note, Realizing the triple nexus: Experiences from implementing the human security approach, with the aim to discuss the synergies between commitments made at the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016, including the “New Way of Working”, and the application of the human security approach.

The note shows how the application of human security supports these commitments and strengthens the humanitarian-development-peace nexus (HDPN) by promoting a response framework that is people-centered and operates across the three pillars of the nexus. Moreover, the guidance note compares concepts which underpin the HDPN and the human security approach and reflects on how to advance a more proactive, inclusive and transformative HDPN. It describes a step-by-step application of the HDPN from the human security perspective, drawing on lessons learned from programmes supported by the UN Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS) in the last two decades.

13 September 2021: The Launch of the Regional Report on the Attainment of the SDGs in Conflict-affected Countries in the Arab Region

The League of Arab States (LAS), together with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), and the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS) launched the Regional Report on the Attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Conflict-Affected Countries in the Arab Region (English and Arabic versions).

Leveraging the human security approach and echoing the five pillars of the 2030 Agenda, the Report calls for an integrated framework to advance the SDGs in country contexts faced with complex and often recurring challenges related to planning, programming, prioritization and resources, as well as the recent COVID-19 pandemic. It focuses on conflict, post-conflict and conflict-affected settings including Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The Report includes evidence-based examples of lessons learned and successes in using the SDGs to catalyze the transition towards greater peace and prosperity. By closing gaps and combining existing tools to accelerate delivery and make better use of limited resources, the Report prioritizes critical SDG targets and indicators that can result in the greatest impact and lead to sustainable gains for people and communities.

Please visit our website to learn more about the relevant events that took place prior to this global launch:

  • Introductory Event on the Regional Report on29 June 2021 [LINK]
  • Strengthening a Regional Framework for Pathways to Just, Peaceful and Inclusive Societies in the Arab Region on 13 July 2021 [LINK]

10 September 2021: Human Security Newsletter – Fall/Winter 2021

This new edition of the Human Security Newsletter [Link] provides an overview of the current global activities promoting the human security approach, which, in the words of the Secretary-General in the meeting of the Group of Friends, will represent “an essential framework in charting our post-pandemic future, and ensuring gender equity, opportunity, and dignity for all.” The edition highlights recent key events such as the official re-launch of the Group of Friends of Human Security as well as the recent UNDP-led Human Security Symposium and the side event on Human Security and Gender Equality. The newsletter also provides updates from recent efforts in Jamaica and in the Arab region. To stay updated on human security activities, check our website regularly, follow us on twitter, and subscribe to our newsletter.

25 August 2021: Research Conference on using Human Security to Prevent Violent Extremism

The UNTFHS-supported programme ‘Tackling the threat of violent extremism and its impact on human securities in East Java’ hosted a two-day Virtual National Research Conference entitled ‘Promoting the Human Security Approach in Leveraging Research, Best Practices and Lessons Learned for Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) and Gender Equality in Indonesia’.

The conference served as an opportunity for PVE practitioners, civil society organizations, academics and researchers, think-tanks, policymakers, the private sector, gender stakeholders, development partners, and the UN system to share research findings, best practices and lessons learned from the field through the human security approach and how these can contribute to effective design of future PVE interventions. Speakers, including the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Indonesia, Ms. Valerie Julliand, strongly emphasized the importance of the human security approach and highlighted its significance as the means to build peaceful and inclusive societies based on a multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder and whole-of-society framework. The conference also provided the participants with an opportunity to discuss enhanced collaboration to advance the PVE agenda in Indonesia.

The UNTFHS-supported programme in Indonesia, locally known as the ‘Guyub project’, is implemented jointly by UNODC, UN Women and UNDP, under the leadership of the Resident Coordinator’s Office in Indonesia. It applies the human security approach to deliver a comprehensive, prevention-focused initiative that is people-centred, driven by community stakeholders and reinforced at the national level. Utilizing human security, the programme also empowers the civil society and communities, including women, youth and persons with disabilities to play a key role in preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE). The primary focus is East Java, Indonesia, although the programme includes complementary national and regional interventions.

Read more about the programme in Indonesia on our programme page or the programme’s dedicated site un-guyub.id.

13 July 2021: Side Event at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

The League of Arab States (LAS), International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), and UNTFHS organized a side event at the 2021 HLPF entitled “Strengthening a Regional Framework for Pathways to Just, Peaceful and Inclusive Societies in the Arab Region”. The discussion provided a deep dive into some of the key findings of the forthcoming regional report on Attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Conflict-affected Countries in the Arab Region, which leverages the transformative value of the human security approach to provide critical insights into advancing the SDGs in conflict-affected settings. Speakers from the LAS, the Governments of Lebanon, Yemen and Libya, civil society organizations, and the UNTFHS highlighted the importance of strengthening the localization of the SDGs, enhancing institutional cooperation across the triple nexus, and applying the human security framework to better manage competing priorities and challenges facing governments and communities in countries affected by conflict. Please visit our website to learn more about the side event along with the annual programme of outreach on the report.

29 June 2021: Development Dialogues – Human Security in the Decade of Action Through a Gender Equality Lens

UNDP in collaboration with the Human Security Unit (HSU) held a virtual event under the auspices of the Development Dialogues entitled “Human Security in the Decade of Action through a Gender Equality Lens”. The event included government representatives from Mali and Haiti who participated in UNTFHS programmes, and a civil society representative from Yemen as well as speakers from the HSU, UNDP, and the Government of Japan. The panelists showcased achievements, best practices and lessons learned on employing the human security lens in policy and programming to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in fragile and crisis settings. The event provided an opportunity to identify new priorities and directions to integrate this learning towards accelerating progress in the Decade of Action. For more information and a recording of the event, please visit the event page.

20 June 2021: New Programme – A Human Security Approach to Addressing Mixed Migration to Gabon

Mixed migration is a recurrent and increasingly visible aspect of our interconnected world and can bring both opportunities and risks to those on the move and host communities. A newly approved UNTFHS programme in Gabon will support national efforts to enhance the country’s management of mixed migration, including challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, through the human security approach. The programme will combine institutional measures to bolster legal frameworks and promote a whole-of-government approach with initiatives to empower migrants, refugees, victims of trafficking and the Gabonese population. Lessons from this programme will inform national, regional, and global efforts to realize the recommendations of the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and the Valletta Joint Action Plan. For more information on the programme, visit the programme page.

17 June 2021: Development Dialogues – UNDP-UNHCR Global Partnership on Forced Displacement

UNDP and UNHCR hosted a Development Dialogue focused on their “Global Partnership on Forced Displacement.” The event highlighted the UNTFHS-funded programme, Improving durable solutions and peacebuilding through Human Security Business Partnerships in post-Peace Agreement Colombia, as a successful example of joint work to operationalize the humanitarian-development-peace nexus. The programme’s approach has enabled an integrated analysis across development and protection issues, leading to more comprehensive and relevant operations, as well as increased capacity to convene diverse stakeholder groups. It has also provided an opportunity to demonstrate and realize the important role of partnerships across the public and private sector, the United Nations, academia and civil society in advancing peacebuilding and durable solutions towards broader sustainable development goals at the local level.

11 June 2021: Virtual Symposium: A New Generation of Human Security

With the world at an inflection point in the development landscape, grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and new and emerging threats, it is time for the next generation of human security to navigate the unprecedented transformations of the 21st century. To this end, the Human Development Report Office at UNDP organized a virtual symposium on human security to push the analytical frontier and suggest policy options for a bold systemic response to the risks that societies are facing around the globe. Renowned speakers from diverse disciplines and regions discussed topics including human insecurity as a threat to human development, new threats from the Anthropocene and digital age, as well as those from conflict, crime and violence. The discussions at the symposium will inform the preparation of a special report on human security to be launched before the end of the year. For more information on this event and the High-Level Advisory Panel overseeing the preparation of the special report, click here.

11 June 2021: Human Security Newsletter-Spring/Summer 2021

At this moment of increased engagement on human security, the new edition of the Human Security Newsletter [Link] provides a snapshot of activities at the global, regional, and country levels to advance the application of human security towards addressing critical global challenges. An overview of the findings from a global survey conducted between January and March 2021 illustrates the importance of expanding the understanding and usage of human security at all levels. You will find articles on UNTFHS programmes to advance the SDGs at the local level in West Africa and to promote more inclusive and prevention-oriented COVID-19 recovery in every region of the world. Lastly, you will learn more about the report Advancing the SDGs in conflict-affected countries in the Arab Region led by the League of Arab States with the support of IOM, ESCWA and the UNTFHS to be launched on 29 June 2021. To stay updated on human security activities, check our website regularly, follow us on twitter, and subscribe to our newsletter.

8 June 2021: RELEASE OF 2021 CALL FOR PROPOSALS

The HSU has released the 2021 Call for Proposals [Link]. In this year of great momentum on human security, the Fund is focusing on programmes that aim to extend awareness of the human security approach and its usage at all levels (Window II of the UNTFHS). Submissions should apply the human security approach to address the multidimensional challenges and advance the SDGs in LDCs, LLDCs, SIDS and the Sahel region. In doing so, they should (i) promote prevention and preparedness to interconnected threats; (ii) reach the most vulnerable and those farthest behind; and (iii) enhance synergies across risks or operationalize the humanitarian-development-peace nexus. Please visit the FAQs page for more information.

13 - 14 April 2021: International Conference on Partnering with Business to Promote Human Security and the SDGs

The UN Business and Human Security Initiative at LSE and Rosario University organized an international conference entitled Partnering with business to promote human security and the SDGs in fragile and conflict-affected settings: comparative experiences. Based on the HSBP initiative supported by the UNTFHS, conference participants discussed how business can collaborate with other actors in finding innovative solutions to some of the most pressing contemporary development and security issues facing societies. Informed by insights and experiences in multiple regions, including the UNTFHS programme in Colombia, the conference provided an opportunity for scholars, policymakers and practitioners to explore key challenges and opportunities to promote human security and the SDGs at the local level. Videos of the conference sessions can be watched here.

7 April 2021: 23rd Meeting of the Advisory Board on Human Security

At this meeting, ABHS members discussed strategies to increase political and institutional engagement on human security, highlighting its invaluable role in stronger prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery from multidimensional crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Board members were briefed on the multiple tracks of activities in 2021 to raise visibility, extend partnerships, and reflect on the future trajectory of human security and its usage at the United Nations and beyond. Board members noted the importance of the human security approach for advancing the SDGs with a distinct focus on leaving no one behind and providing a framework to operationalize key priorities such as the humanitarian-development-peace nexus. Following the extensive outreach and advocacy efforts this year, Board members will reconvene to provide their recommendations to the Secretary-General on the way forward for human security.

29 March 2021: Arab Forum for Sustainable Development

A special session on Localization and Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships: Means to Materialize the 2030 Agenda in Conflict-affected Countries was held at the 2021 Arab Forum for Sustainable Development. Organized by the League of Arab States, IOM, ESCWA and the UNTFHS, the event shared findings from the forthcoming report entitled “Advancing the SDGs in Conflict-Affected Countries in the Arab Region.” Panelists discussed the critical role of local actors and multi-stakeholder partnerships to the achievement of peace and sustainable development. They considered how the application of human security can strengthen the nexus between peacebuilding, humanitarian and development efforts and help identify strategic entry points around which UN agencies, Member States and non-UN partners can work together to deepen localization and accelerate the advancement of the SDGs.

25 March 2021: Workshop on Applying the Human Security Approach to Strengthen Resilience in Jamaica

Organized by the United Nations Country Team in Jamaica, the HSU facilitated a workshop on applying the human security approach to build resilience in Jamaica. Supporting the UNTFHS programme Strengthening human resilience in Northern Clarendon and West Kingston implemented by UNDP, FAO, UN Environment and PAHO/WHO, the workshop was attended by 40 participants from the UN system, national and local government representatives, civil society organizations and local communities participating in the programme. As the programme is in its last year of implementation, the workshop focused on enhancing the impact of programme activities in people’s daily lives, promoting sustainability through the human security approach, and developing strategies to mainstream human security at the local and national levels to continue to advance inclusive development in Jamaica.

17 - 18 March 2021: Event on Engaging the Tech Industry for Building Peace and Human Security

While technology can be a vital tool to increase well-being across the globe, it can also lead to unintended consequences, including increased tensions, especially in fragile and conflict-sensitive contexts (FCS). A roundtable entitled Engaging the Tech Industry for Building Peace and Human Security organized by the UN Business and Human Security Initiative at the LSE IDEAS sought to apply the human security approach towards facilitating multi-stakeholder collaboration to ensure the responsible use of new technologies in high-risk settings. This dialogue, which brought together relevant actors from the tech industry, civil society, and policy community, focused on methods to deepen awareness of interdependencies among diverse stakeholders around the issue of technology use in FCS and ways to foster meaningful engagement, particularly at the local level. A summary of the roundtable is forthcoming and more information can be found on the LSE website.

11 March 2021: High-level Event on Human Security at the Kyoto Crime Congress

The HSU in partnership with the Permanent Latin America Committee for Crime Prevention and the Institute for Human Security for Latin America and the Caribbean held a high-level Ancillary Meeting at the 14th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. The meeting entitled Human Security – Towards a Comprehensive Approach to Crime Prevention in the Latin America and Caribbean Region and Beyond highlighted the importance of human security for strengthening efforts to prevent crime and violence, building the capacity of the security sector, and promoting the inclusive participation of local communities in public safety and crime prevention. It showcased efforts to advance human security for sustainable, people-centered solutions, including initiatives supported by the UNTFHS.

29 January 2021: Responding to the impacts of COVID-19 on refugee and migrant youth in Morocco

When COVID-19 emerged, it created new and urgent threats to the safety and security of people, with already-vulnerable groups especially hard hit. At the same time, it disrupted the delivery of humanitarian and development assistance to these communities. Faced with these challenges, the UNTFHS “AMAL” programme in Morocco rapidly reassessed the needs of children and youth refugees and migrants in Morocco and adjusted the programme activities to address pressing vulnerabilities, particularly the health and economic impacts of the pandemic, while continuing to promote the socioeconomic integration of this population in the recovery process. For example, the programme team reconfigured existing awareness campaigns to include information on health practices, increased the provision of health supplies, and developed new strategies to continue capacity-building efforts to support integration. For more information on the programme, visit the programme page.

15 January 2021: Driving towards sustainable solutions in Zambia

At the heart of the human security approach is promoting sustainability by advancing mutually reinforcing actions to protect and empower people. The UNTFHS’s programme, Promoting Human Security Through Sustainable Resettlement in Zambia, demonstrates the value of this approach to support the integration of long-term refugees in Zambia. The programme combines the establishment of resettlement neighborhoods with inclusive and participatory planning to enhance local ownership and social cohesion among host and refugee communities. In addition, the creation of sustainable economic opportunities is building the self-sufficiency of refugees while contributing to broader local development. This combination of institutional support and community-based initiatives is building a foundation for positive transformation in the resettlement sites of Mayukwayukwa and Meheba, and beyond. For more information on the programme, visit the programme page.

15 December 2020: Human Security Session at the Global Leadership for the 21st Century Conference

On 15-16 December, the United Nations Office at Geneva and the World Academy of Art & Science convened a global conference to examine the results of a one-year joint initiative to develop catalytic strategies for addressing complex global leadership challenges. The first session focused on human security in the context of peacebuilding and its potential for advancing a social and economic paradigm that reflects the reality of 21st century challenges. Mr. Yukio Takasu, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Human Security, opened the session with a presentation on the value of human security as a framework that helps transcend the siloes of humanitarian, development and human rights action. He emphasized its focus on addressing the root causes of insecurity and empowering people to participate in building and sustaining peace. As such, human security also strengthens multilateral responses to crises that require integrated and comprehensive solutions. Click here to watch the session and here to read the conference report

8 December 2020: SDGs and Japan: Human Security Indicators for Leaving No One Left Behind

The JICA Sadako Ogata Research Institute for Peace and Development recently released the English translation of “SDGs and Japan: Human Security Indicators for Leaving No One Left Behind,” first published in November 2019 by Akashi Shoten under the supervision of Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Human Security, Mr. Yukio Takasu. The book outlines the design of the first comprehensive human security-based indicators for a major industrialized country, which could help inform progress in advancing the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals. The novel framework identifies challenges to the lives, livelihoods and dignity of people at the local level, blending quantitative data with subjective assessments related to self-fulfillment and social connectivity. Applying the human security approach provides meaningful information towards making efforts to localize the implementation of the SDGs more targeted and effective. A copy of the book can be downloaded here

November 2020: Update on the Pacific Climate Change, Migration and Human Security Programme.

November saw the release of the first issue of the quarterly update for the UNTFHS programme in the Pacific Islands. The programme promotes regional cooperation and community-based initiatives to protect and empower communities adversely affected by climate change and disasters in the Pacific region, focusing on the impacts related to migration, displacement and planned relocation. The issue highlights areas of progress including key messages that emerged from the 2020 virtual dialogues of the Technical Advisory Group, which is comprised of experts from across the Pacific region in multiple sectors; the start of the Regional Policy Dialogue of senior officials from Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Climate Change to support a shared understanding of the issues and policy and legal gaps that may be addressed through regional cooperation; and key findings from the human security assessment of the impacts of COVID-19 on labour mobility. For more information, please read the update and visit the programme page.

11 September 2020: The inaugural meeting of the new Advisory Board on Human Security

On Friday, 11 September, the new Advisory Board on Human Security (ABHS) held its inaugural meeting via virtual platform. Encouraged by the Secretary-General to “generate the solutions and support needed to usher in a new era for human security,” the newly appointed members discussed the renewed importance of human security in face of the multifaceted challenges caused by COVID-19 and the urgent need to rethink international and national responses to current and emerging challenges. The ABHS members include: Ambassador Knut Vollebaek, former Foreign Minister of Norway, who was elected Chair for the current term; Ms. Marianna Costa-Checa, CEO and co-founder, Laboratoria; Ms. Henrietta Fore, Executive Director, United Nations Children’s Fund; Ms. Michelle Gyles-McDonnough, Director of the Sustainable Development Unit, Executive Office of the Secretary-General; Ms. Shuvai Busuman Nyoni, Executive Director, African Leadership Centre; Mr. Achim Steiner, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme; Mr. Yukio Takasu, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Human Security; and Dr. Akihiko Tanaka, President, National Graduate Institute of Policy Studies in Japan. Please read the press release and visit the website for more information on the ABHS.

16 July 2020: High-Level Event – From Local to Global: Building on What Works to Spur Progress on the 2030 Agenda

On July 16th, the International Peace Institute (IPI) in partnership with the Government of The Gambia and the UN Trust Fund for Human Security hosted a high-level virtual event entitled “From local to global: Building on what works to spur progress on the 2030 Agenda” on the sidelines of the 2020 High Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development. The event was opened by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of The Gambia, H.E. Mamadou Tangara and showcased global, regional, national and local perspectives on how to advance locally-driven and nationally-supported strategies to accelerate progress on the SDGs at the local level. Speakers reaffirmed the importance of breaking down siloes, ensuring meaningful engagement of local actors, and promoting partnerships across levels of governance in order to realize the promise of the 2030 Agenda. For more information, read the report launched at the event as well as the full event summary (EN).

8 July 2020: Human Security Newsletter-Summer 2020

In this summer edition of the Human Security Newsletter, we focus on the importance of human security in the age of COVID-19, illustrating the value of the approach for strengthening our preparedness and response to pressing and complex global challenges. This edition also highlights articles by leading political and intellectual luminaries, including South Korean President Moon Jae-In, former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, former Foreign Minister of Norway Knut Vollebaek, and former US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, calling for a recommitment to human security as a framework for international cooperation and national leadership to stop the spread of the pandemic and build back better towards a more inclusive and resilient future for all. Please subscribe to the quarterly newsletter to learn more about important developments on human security and the work of the UN Trust Fund for Human Security.

19 June 2020: Virtual panel on “Human Security: A Unifying Framework to Address 21st Century Challenges”

On Friday, 19 June from 3:00-5:00pm CET, the UNTFHS is co-organizing a panel entitled “Human Security: A Unifying Framework to Address 21st Century Challenges.” As the final session of the e-conference organized by the World Academy of Art & Science and the United Nations Office at Geneva, Strategies for Transformative Global Leadership, the session will bring together global leaders and experts to consider the interconnections across pressing global challenges including COVID-19, peace and security, ecology and climate change, economy and employment, inequality and wellbeing, and other priorities set forth in the SDGs. Through the unifying lens of human security, the session will seek to breakthrough silos that constrain or prevent the type of integrated thinking necessary to address the scope and scale of today’s human insecurities. In addition, it will examine the implications of this comprehensive perspective for decision-making, collective action and global leadership for the 21st century. Click here for the list of speakers and to register.

15 June 2020: RELEASE OF 2020 CALL FOR PROPOSALS

The HSU has released the 2020 Call for Proposals. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe and causing an unprecedented threat to people’s survival, livelihoods and dignity, there is a resurgence of interest within and beyond the United Nations in human security. As such, the UNTFHS will focus the 2020 Call for Proposals on outreach and advocacy programmes to extend awareness of human security and its usage at all levels (window 2). Submissions should apply the human security approach to develop innovative strategies to address: (i) the multidimensional impacts of health crises; (ii) issues related to humanitarian-development-peace nexus; (iii) cross-border challenges through regional frameworks; and (iv) global awareness-raising on human security. Please visit the FAQs page for more information.

This is HS

April 2020: Global thought leaders advocate for human security

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the limitations of prevailing paradigms to effectively manage 21st century challenges that exact the greatest human toll and undermine stability and prosperity for all. As a result, there has been a mounting call from Nobel laureates (Mikhail Gorbachev in Time) and prominent thinkers (Granoff & Kellman in Newsweek, Allan Behm in the Guardian, Akiko Fukushima in the East Asia Forum) to advance the human security approach, which seeks sustained improvements in the social, economic, environmental, and political dimensions of people’s lives as the fundamental basis of thriving and stable societies. As the United Nations prepares to celebrate its 75th anniversary, it is time to place human security at the forefront of the global agenda towards inspiring new thinking on how we prepare for future challenges, how we come together as a global community, and what tools are best suited to truly protect and empower people. [Video – #ThisIsHumanSecurity]

AHSI what's new

6 March 2020: Consultative Meeting: Towards Developing an African Human Security Index: On Practices, Methods, and Designs, African Union Commission, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The first Experts Consultative Meeting on the development of the African Human Security Index (AHSI) was held under the auspices of the African Union Commission (AUC). The meeting was organized in close partnership with the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the UN office for the African Union (UNOAU), and the UN Human Security Unit (HSU). Technical experts from various Commissions of the AUC as well as eminent scholars and practitioners from the continent and elsewhere came together to accelerate discussions towards the development of the AHSI as a policy tool for achieving Agenda 2063 and the Silencing the Guns by 2020 initiative. The meeting was opened by H.E. Quartey Thomas Kwesi and was followed by remarks from the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Human Security, the Director of Gender, Poverty and Social Policy Division (GPSPD), UNECA, and the Deputy Head of Office and Director of Political Affairs, UNOAU. Ms. Mehrnaz Mostafavi, Chief of the Human Security Unit, provided the participants with an Overview of Human Security: Concept and Principles [link] to facilitate subsequent discussions on the AHSI and its application on the continent.  [Press release by AUC (EN) (FR (forthcoming))(AR)] [Aide-Memoire] [Agenda] [Poster] [UNTFHS programme page]

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20 January 2020: New programme “Regional Report on the Attainment of the SDGs in Countries Affected by Crisis in Arab Region”

A new programme entitled Regional Report on the Attainment of the SDGs in Countries Affected by Crisis in the Arab Region has been approved by the UNTFHS. In support of the League of Arab States (LAS), the programme aims to establish a regional yet contextual Report and Reference Guide incorporating tools and approaches for achieving the SDGs in countries experiencing or affected by conflicts in the Arab region. [See details in the programme page and Info sheet]

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6 January 2020: Stories from the field: Armenia

Newly produced videos by the UN country team in Armenia illustrate human security in action and highlight the value of its comprehensive approach to the multifaceted challenges facing returnees and other community members in disaster-prone regions. The UNTFHS programme, Enhancing Human Security and Building Resilient Society in Disadvantaged Communities of Armenia implemented jointly by UNDP, UNICEF, WFP, IOM, FAO and UNIDO is addressing the root causes of human insecurities of vulnerable populations, especially people with disabilities, in remote communities. See the programme summary and watch the videos here.

19 December 2019: Winter 2019 Edition of the Human Security Newsletter

In this winter edition of the Human Security Newsletter, we highlight significant milestones for human security in 2019 and some of the contributions of the UNTFHS and its many partners across the globe. This edition showcases how human security helps advance the 2030 Agenda and its goal to leave no one behind; efforts to accelerate progress on the SDGs from the ground up; development of the African Human Security Index as an essential component of the ‘Silencing the Guns by 2020’ initiative; and a new UNTFHS programme to advance inclusive peace and development at this pivotal moment of transition in Sudan. Please subscribe to the quarterly newsletter to learn more about human security at the United Nations and beyond.

14 November 2019: Mainstreaming human security in health policies

Aiming to institutionalize a more comprehensive approach to healthcare and to advance progress on Universal Health Coverage, PAHO developed human security-based tools to assess local health plans and produced guidelines on how to incorporate the human security approach into health planning in Central America and the Dominican Republic. [EN] [SP] Under the leadership of the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America (COMISCA), and with the engagement of a broad range of stakeholders and the technical support of PAHO, human security was integrated into health plans to advance a more inclusive and integrated approach to healthcare in the region. For assessment results by country and other information, please see the programme page.

27-29 October 2019: Exchange Forum on Localizing the 2030 Agenda in Banjul, The Gambia

As the first regional platform of its kind in West Africa, the High-level Exchange Forum on “Localizing the 2030 Agenda: Building on What Works” showcased successful local sustainable development initiatives and fostered discussion on how to mobilize the capacities and ingenuity of local actors towards accelerating the achievement of the SDGs. Bringing together national and local government representatives, UN Resident Coordinators and UNCTs, local champions and entrepreneurs, youth and women leaders, among others – from Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Liberia, Senegal, and Sierra Leone, as well as regional and international partners – the Forum resulted in a rich exchange of experiences, generating innovative solutions and new multi-stakeholder partnerships to support localization. The Forum was opened by the Vice-President of The Gambia, H.E. Dr. Isatou Touray and remarks were made by the Forum organizers, including Ms. Mehrnaz Mostafavi, Chief of the Human Security Unit and the UN Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS) [link]. A report on the Forum will be launched in New York in Spring 2020. In addition, lessons learned and best practices from the Forum will inform subsequent operational programmes supported by the UNTFHS in the region. For more information on the Exchange Forum, please see the event page.

22 October 2019: In memoriam: Sadako Ogata, visionary leader and pioneer of human security

With great sadness and profound admiration, we mourn the passing of Sadako Ogata, a visionary international leader and pioneer of human security. After witnessing the suffering and resilience of so many during her time as UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Madam Ogata became convinced of the importance of human security and led its development into a practical approach as Co-Chair of the Commission on Human Security and subsequently Chair of the Advisory Board on Human Security. She guided the mainstreaming of human security into the work of the United Nations towards redefining how we come together to advance the survival, livelihood and dignity of all people. Her legacy will continue to drive us to put people at the heart of our actions as we strive for more just, peaceful and prosperous societies for all.

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2 October 2019: Launch of the UNTFHS Programme in Zambia

On 2 October 2019, the UN Country Team in Zambia launched the UNTFHS programme, Promoting Human Security Through Sustainable Resettlement in Zambia. Jointly implemented by UNDP and UNHCR and in partnership with the Government of Zambia, the programme is advancing a comprehensive and integrated approach to enhance social cohesion, expand opportunities, and ensure inclusive and sustainable development for communities living in the participating resettlement sites, Mayukwayukwa and Meheba. A wide range of stakeholders, including key ministries, development partners, NGOs, the Chamber of Commerce and the private sector participated in the launch event and expressed their strong support for the programme. See Zambia programme page.

26 September 2019: UN General Assembly, Gambia Vice President highlights partnership with Human Security Unit

On 26 September 2019 at the General Debate of the UN General Assembly, Her Excellency Dr. Isatou Touray, Vice President of The Republic of The Gambia, highlighted the High-Level Exchange Forum on ‘Localizing the Agenda 2030: Building on What Works’, to be held on 27 – 29 October in Banjul, as an important sub-regional effort to help realize the goals of the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063. Organized in partnership with the Government of The Gambia, the Senegalo-Gambia Secretariat, the UN Country Team in The Gambia, the HSU and the International Peace Institute, the Forum promises to provide concrete lessons on how local, national, regional and international partnerships can scale-up what works at the local level for transformative change to flourish and lead to sustainable development and peace for all. See event page.

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26 September 2019: High-level Ministerial Breakfast Meeting on Migration and Climate Change: A focus on Small Island Developing States

Hosted by the Permanent Missions of Fiji and Portugal and IOM, the High-level Ministerial Breakfast Meeting on Migration and Climate Change: A focus on Small Island Developing States [concept note] was held on 26 September 2019. The event provided the opportunity to share concrete actions towards supporting countries grappling with the multidimensional consequences of climate change and advancing a climate-sensitive development agenda. Highlighting the value of the human security approach for addressing the interlinkages between climate change, migration and sustainable development, Ms. Mehrnaz Mostafavi, Chief of the HSU, underscored the contribution of the UNTFHS programme in Fiji, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu towards strengthening regional cooperation and enhancing community resilience. [See programme page]

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23 September 2019: UNTFHS highlighted in the Political Declaration on UHC

On 23 September 2019, Member States adopted the first Political Declaration on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), recognizing that health is a precondition for and an indicator of the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. To advance UHC, the declaration also emphasizes the importance of global health financing and highlights the UNTFHS as one key mechanism to support national efforts and to promote global solidarity and collective action (article 45). The Fund has rich experience supporting comprehensive responses to health insecurity in diverse contexts, including through programmes in Central America & Dominican Republic [HSU Newsletter Summer 2019], Costa Rica & Panama and Rwanda.

15 August 2019: Summer 2019 edition of the Human Security Newsletter

This edition of the newsletter shares highlights from recent activities of the Human Security Unit and the UN Trust Fund for Human Security to advance key global issues – from strengthening our efforts to combat inequalities to operationalizing the humanitarian-development-peace nexus in Nigeria, leveraging partnerships with the private sector to advance peace and sustainable development at the local level in Colombia, addressing climate security in the Pacific Islands, and advancing progress towards a comprehensive approach to healthcare in Central America and the Dominican Republic. Please subscribe to the quarterly newsletter to learn more about human security at the United Nations and beyond.

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28 June 2019: High-Level Policy Dialogue on the Human Security Approach to Transforming the Farmer-Herder Crisis in Nigeria

Opened by the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Dr. Andrew Kwasari, Advisor in the Office of the Vice President, and Ms. Mehrnaz Mostafavi, Chief of the HSU, the high-level policy dialogue brought together key stakeholders from the Federal Government of Nigeria, the UN Country Team, NGOs, ECOWAS, and international cooperation partners to exchange perspectives on how best to leverage initiatives such as the UNTFHS programme in Nigeria to advance the transformation envisaged in the National Livestock Transformation Plan 2019-2028 (NLTP). Ms. Mostafavi, highlighted how the UNTFHS programme supports implementation of the NLTP and provides significant opportunities to address key drivers of the current crisis, heal fragmentation and advance comprehensive solutions that can deliver the dividends of economic prosperity, social harmony, and peace and stability. Read the full statement here.

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24-26 June 2019: Launch of new workshop on operationalizing the humanitarian-development-peace nexus through human security

The HSU in collaboration with the UN System Staff College launched a new workshop on operationalizing the humanitarian-development-peace nexus through the human security approach in Benue State, Nigeria. Organized with the UN Country Team in Nigeria to support the implementation of their programme funded by the UNTFHS, the workshop brought together 45 state and local authorities, traditional and religious leaders, civil society organizations and representatives of farmer and herder communities to tackle the serious and escalating crisis between farmers and herders in the Middle Belt region. The workshop represents an important contribution to international efforts to provide practical guidance on bridging the divide between humanitarian assistance, sustainable development and peace. [Nigeria programme page]

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21-27 June 2019: Preparatory visit in The Gambia – Localizing the 2030 Agenda – a partnership between the Human Security Unit and the International Peace Institute

The HSU in partnership with the International Peace Institute (IPI) is launching a new programme to support the localization of the 2030 Agenda in West Africa. Through a recent visit to Banjul, the HSU and IPI met with key stakeholders, including government officials, the UNCT, academia, and civil society to exchange perspectives on localization as a process to empower local stakeholders and leverage their comparative advantages by mobilizing their specific economic, cultural, social and political resources. The visit was also an opportunity to prepare for the upcoming Exchange Forum “Localizing the 2030 Agenda: Building on What Works” on 28-29 October 2019 in Banjul and organized in partnership with the Government of The Gambia, the Senegalo-Gambian Permanent Secretariat, and the RC and the UNCT in The Gambia. The Forum will bring together participants from eight contiguous West African countries (Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Senegal, and Sierra Leone) to share their knowledge and experiences on successful multidimensional initiatives to advance the SDGs at the local level. [Concept note on Exchange Forum (forthcoming)]