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.
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]
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]
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]
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.
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 summary (forthcoming)].
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.
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]
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.
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.
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]
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)]
19 June 2019: National Forum on Disaster and Climate Change Data Management in Haiti
The UN Country Team in Haiti organized the International Forum on Disaster and Climate Change Data Management in Port-au-Prince on 19 June 2019, aiming to raise awareness on the application of the human security approach towards evidence-based disaster risk management. Government officers, experts in disaster data collection, and practitioners shared best practices from the UNTFHS programme in Haiti and highlighted disaster data management mechanisms towards the improvement of human security in the Caribbean region. [Agenda] [Concept note] [Haiti programme page]
18 June 2019: Launch of the UNTFHS programme in Colombia
On 18 June 2019, the UN Country Team in Colombia launched the UNTFHS programme titled Improving durable solutions and peacebuilding through Human Security Business Partnerships in post-Peace Agreement Colombia. Jointly implemented by UNDP, UNHCR and PeaceStartup, in partnership with the Government of Colombia, the programme aims to support the implementation of the Peace Accord by fostering reconciliation and sustainable development through the application Human Security Business Partnership (HSBP) framework developed by the London School of Economics in close consultation with the HSU. A wide range of stakeholders in Antioquia and Narino including victims, ex-combatants, key ministries, academia, NGOs, microfinance institutions and the private sector participated in the launching event and expressed their strong support for the UNTFHS programme [see details on the Colombia programme summary].
15 June 2019: Lebanon, new video on how the human security programme empowered vulnerable families and reduced tensions between refugees and host communities
UN-Habitat, UNICEF and UNWomen recently released a video on the AbJad community center in Tripoli, Lebanon. A centerpiece of the UNTFHS programme, the Abjad center was created to gather both host and refugee communities to create positive and sustainable engagement through socio-cultural activities and vocational training. It has functioned as a hub to ensure collaborative decision-making and action among local stakeholders on all aspects of the programme from enhancing access to basic needs such as water, sanitation, and heath, to improving the economic situation by creating job, providing vocational training, reducing child labor, empowering vulnerable families, and decreasing tensions between neighborhoods. Learn more about the programme here.
28 May 2019: Release of 2019 Call for Proposals
The HSU has released the 2019 Call for Proposals. To support implementation of UN reform and building upon the UNTFHS’s added value, this year’s Call for Proposals will focus on applying the human security approach to operationalize i) prevention and early action to overcome obstacles to attaining the SDGs and/or ii) the humanitarian-development nexus at the local level to accelerate progress on the SDGs. Please note: All submissions should be made through the online portal. In addition, the concept note template has changed. Please refer to Annex 2 of the Call for Proposals for the new template or Annex 1 of the UNTFHS Guidelines.
24 April 2019: Policy Brief: Enhancing Trust in Multilateralism through Human Security
Our new policy brief “Enhancing Trust in Multilateralism through Human Security” highlights the importance of human security and its application for addressing current and emerging challenges before they give rise to complex crises that undo years of development. It advocates for unleashing the power of partnerships among United Nations entities, Member States, civil society, the private sector and local communities that together accelerate delivery, limit duplication and maximize the reach of scarce resources with no one left behind. See the full brief here. Watch the video presentation, in which the President of General Assembly stated “(..) to increase human security, we must work together.”, at the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly to Commemorate and Promote the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace.
22 April 2019: UNTFHS programme update: Egypt on 22 April 2019
On 22 April 2019, the UN country team in Egypt launched a UNTFHS programme entitled Employment for youth in Egypt (EYE): Providing a reason to stay. Jointly implemented by ILO, UNIDO and UNDP, the programme aims to advance sustainable development in the Nile Delta region by addressing the root causes of out-migration, improving economic security for youth, strengthening the reintegration of returnees, and enhancing job creation in partnership with the Government and the private sector. The programme promises to provide important lessons on multi-stakeholder partnerships that include the private sector towards achieving the SDGs in an inclusive and sustainable manner. See the press release of the event. [For more information, visit the Egypt programme page]
29 Mar-29 April 2019: Call for Proposals: UN Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund for the Aral Sea region (Uzbekistan)
The UN Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund (MPHSTF) for the Aral Sea region announced its first Call for Proposals. Supported by the UNTFHS, the MPHSTF was launched on the margins of the 73rd UN General Assembly in November 2018 and aims to promote a people-centred and integrated approach to the complex consequences of the Aral Sea disaster. [Call for Proposals] [Past event] [UNTFHS programme]
8-9 April 2019: Special Adviser Yukio Takasu highlights the value of human security for social development and the prevention of crime and violence
At the General Meeting of the Permanent Latin American Committee for Crime Prevention in Rio de Janeiro, the Special Adviser will present on the value of the human security approach for the promotion of social development and the prevention of crime and violence in the region and beyond. He will highlight the success of UNTFHS programmes on citizen security, which have promoted a comprehensive and people-centred approach for crime prevention and criminal justice in the region. [Conference programme] [Statement] [News article]
26 March 2019: Launch of regional UNTFHS programme in the Pacific Islands
Jointly implemented by IOM, ESCAP, ILO and OHCHR in partnership with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the Platform on Disaster Displacement, the UNTFHS programme Enhancing Protection and Empowerment of Migrants and Communities Affected by Climate Change and Disasters in the Pacific Region was launched in Suva, Fiji on 26 March 2019. With climate-induced migration and displacement on the rise, this programme will contribute to the development of a regional framework for well-managed labour mobility as an opportunity for sustainable development and climate adaptation. To this end, it will strengthen government capacity and coordination through a human security-based response, promote safer labour migration, develop the capacities of the most vulnerable communities, and contribute to the evidence base on good practices in response to climate and disaster-related displacement. See the press release of the event. [For more information, visit the Pacific Islands programme page]
12 March 2019: UNTFHS programme update: Cameroon
Communities in the Far North Region of Cameroon face multiple, interconnected challenges – from poverty to the impacts of climate change and disasters, violent extremism and displacement. In response,
UNDP, UNICEF and FAO are jointly implementing a human security programme supported by the UNTFHS to build the resilience of communities and ensure that efforts to advance sustainable development reach those most vulnerable in the region, including women and youth. Watch their video to see human security in action. [For more information, visit the Cameroon programme page]
28 February 2019: High-Level Event ”Human Security at 25: Building on its contributions to achieve the SDGs”
The high-level event co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Japan, Norway, Thailand and South Africa in partnership with the Human Security Unit and UNDP was opened by messages from the Deputy Secretary-General and the Foreign Minister of Japan. A rich panel discussion underscored that human security is more relevant than ever, especially in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals and the rise in fragility and instability across the globe. Participants emphasized its value in shaping policy discourse and as a practical tool for designing programmes at the national and local level to address multidimensional challenges. The event closed with participants calling for the international community to recommit itself to the advancement of human security and for governments and the private sector to contribute to the UNTFHS so the United Nations system can scale-up human security programming to address emerging challenges before they give rise to complex crises that could undermine progress towards sustainable development for all. [For statements and the webTV cast, visit the event site]
11 February 2019: Chair of the Advisory Board on Human Security delivers the keynote address at the conference “Parliament and the Security Sector: New Challenges, Stronger Oversight”
Ambassador Knut Vollebaek opened the two day conference for parliamentarians in Tbilisi, Georgia with a keynote address entitled the “Fragile international system: a time of change and uncertainty.” Recognizing the multifaceted challenges facing people, coupled with a growing deficit of trust in the capacity and commitment of the international community to address these challenges, Ambassador Vollebaek highlighted the importance of “a renewed consensus on the added value of the human security approach and its systematic application in international, regional, national and local governance mechanisms”. Ambassador Vollebaek underscored how a focus on human security can help reaffirm the structures and processes that support greater peace and stability, strengthen prosperity and enhance dignity for all.
7 February 2019: People, Profits and Peace: Proposals for a human security approach for the private sector towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals
The London School of Economics (LSE/IDEAS) hosted the launch of the first report of the Human Security Business Partnership (HSBP) Framework. Supported by the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security, the HSBP Framework aims to strengthen constructive engagement of the private sector, particularly multinational corporations, towards the realization of the SDGs in partnership with the UN system, governments, civil society and local communities. The report is the first step in the formulation of the HSBP Framework based on the human security approach and its emphasis on the need for integrated and multi-stakeholder partnerships at the local level. In 2019, the HSBP Framework will be implemented in Colombia as well as in other countries with the aim to advance progress towards the transformative promise of the 2030 Agenda. [Event website/podcasts] [HSU’s statement] [Programme page]
9 December 2018: Human security featured prominently at two high-level side events at the Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in Marrakesh
At an event entitled Human Security, Resilience and Dignity in Migration: Translating the Global Compact into Action, participants highlighted human security’s value as a proven framework for promoting better management of migration to reduce risks, build resilience and create conditions in which the benefits of migration can be fully realized and widely shared. Panelists at a second flagship event emphasized its importance for informing comprehensive, people-centred and preventive actions to address the vulnerabilities of people at risk of or compelled to move by disasters, climate change and environmental degradation. Please click here for more information on human security and migration.
27 November 2018: High-level event on the Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund for the Aral Sea Region on 27 November 2018
Co-hosted by the Governments of Japan, Nigeria, Norway and Uzbekistan in cooperation with the UN Human Security Unit, the UN Country Team in Uzbekistan and the Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office, the High-Level Event was opened by the Secretary-General and featured a diverse and engaging panel of speakers.. Capitalizing on the successes and lessons learned from previous UN Trust Fund for Human Security programmes in the Aral Sea Region in Uzbekistan, the event galvanized support towards collective action for reducing vulnerability and advancing sustainable development in the region through the application of the human security approach. [Event website] [The SG’s remarks]
19 NOVEMBER 2018: The value of human security in conflict-affected countries demonstrated at the Arab Sustainable Development Week
This year’s Arab Sustainable Development Week under the patronage of H.E. President Abdel Fattah Al, Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt and held by the League of Arab States brought together a wide range of decision-makers, leaders from international and regional bodies and financial institutions, the private sector and civil society to advance sustainable development in the Arab States. The Human Security Unit (HSU) presented at the high-level meeting on Achieving the SDGs in Conflict Affected Countries where human security featured as an important analytical framework for understanding complex challenges and as a powerful tool for realizing the transformative promise of Agenda 2030. The HSU will also co-lead the UN system support to the development of a report on the achievement of the SDGs in countries affected by conflict in the Arab Region to be issued in 2020. [HSU statement (pdf)]
9 November 2018: Donor Luncheon in Cameroon
Aiming to support the scale-up of the first integrated human security programme in Cameroon, which is being implemented in the Far North Region, the UN Country Team (UNDP, UNICEF and FAO) and the Human Security Unit co-organized a donor luncheon attended by major bilateral partners in Cameroon, the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development, and the Inspector General of the Far North Region. The event highlighted the importance of the human security approach for developing strategies to address the confluence of challenges in the Far North, including endemic poverty, disaster vulnerability, and the risk of radicalization and violent extremism.
17-19 October: Istanbul Human Security Conference features the relevance of human security to address current and emerging threats
The 8th Istanbul Human Security Conference (IHSC) took place in collaboration between the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR) at Coventry University, the UN Human Security Unit (HSU) and Kadir Has University. This year’s theme, ‘Human Security in Difficult Times II’ reaffirmed the importance of human security as a practical tool in addressing current and emerging threats around the world including the rise of populism, the persistence of sub-state violence, pressures on civil society and mass migration. Ms. Mehrnaz Mostafavi, Chief of the HSU underlined how at a time when existing paradigms fail to address the root causes of discontent, and anger continues to flare and erode the bonds of our common humanity, a focus on human security can provide “the rationale and methodology for why different entities must come together to limit the conditions under which human insecurities may grow and result in greater tensions.” She demonstrated how improvements in human security can respond to today’s challenges and contribute to long-term national, regional and international peace and prosperity. Click here for the full statement.
18 October 2018: ECOWAS Commission stressed the need for human security to deliver the peace, security, human rights and development
In her statement at the 2018 Africa Dialogue Series, H.E. Ms. Finda Koroma, Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission stressed the need to adopt human security in policy and programme development and implementation to effectively deliver peace, security, human rights and development. The session framed UN efforts in the Sahel Region as a case study for joint approaches in tackling the multiple interrelated and complex threats faced by the region. Ms. Koroma reaffirmed the commitment of ECOWAS to provide practical support to improve social infrastructure and targeted initiatives to prevent conflict. She also pushed for greater mobilization of resources for cross-sectoral programmes involving multiple stakeholders.
11 October 2018: Value of human security in localizing the Sendai Framework demonstrated at the Arab-Africa Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction
At the Arab-Africa Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction, a Ministerial Luncheon entitled, Linking Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainable Development through the Human Security Approach was organized by the UN Human Security Unit (HSU) and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) in Tunis, Tunisia. The event highlighted the linkages between human security and the Sendai Framework informs disaster risk reduction strategies by simultaneously responding to economic, food, health and environmental insecurity of individuals and communities. Panelists stressed the importance of the human security approach in achieving greater inclusivity, cross-border cooperation, and cohesion among different actors to achieve enhanced resilience. Several UNTFHS programmes such as Tunisia & Mauritania, Rwanda and Kenya were highlighted as concrete examples.
01 October 2018: WANA Institute demonstrates the importance of human security for regional peace and security with a focus on youth
In “Reconceptualising Security: Why Now?”, the West Asia-North Africa (WANA) Institute argues that a human-centred security paradigm with youth at the core is fundamental to advancing regional peace and stability. It demonstrates how a broader and more inclusive understanding of security allows policymakers to better address issues that transcend borders including violent extremism, climate change and migration. Moreover, it illustrates how a holistic approach that addresses the root causes of challenges and reduces vulnerability enables state institutions to navigate social change, build trust and safeguard development. Read the full publication here.
01 October 2018: President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria highlights the impact of environmental degradation on human security
Speaking on the 58th anniversary of his country’s independence, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria highlighted concerns about the impact of environmental degradation induced by climate change and the conflict between pastoralists and farmers on human security. He expressed Nigeria’s continuing efforts to work with regional and international partners to complement common efforts towards a sustainable environment. To this end, the UNTFHS is supporting the first and only interagency programme that aims to address the farmer-herder crisis in an integrated manner. The pilot programme applies the human security approach to safeguard livelihoods and promote peace through improved structural protection mechanisms and dispute resolution at the local level. Lessons and best practices from this initiative will also inform polices within Nigeria and the region to mitigate climate-induced resource scarcity and competition and contribute to sustainable development.
28 September 2018: JICA Research Institute hosts symposium on human security in practice
The JICA Research Institute hosted the symposium “The Practices of Human Security in the ASEAN+3: Recommendations from Academics and Practitioners” to launch the publication of the book “Human Security and Cross-Border Cooperation in East Asia”, a compilation of findings related to the practice of human security in the ASEAN countries, China, Japan and South Korea.
24 September 2018: UNTFHS Dominican Republic programme highlighted on new human rights website
In celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, OHCHR and UNDP have launched a website showcasing how the defence and promotion of human rights are mainstreamed across the UN. The UNTFHS programme in the Dominican Republic is being highlighted as an example of defending the right to a nationality by addressing the ambiguous civil status among Dominicans of Haitian descent. Recognizing that the denial of citizenship is a critical and pervasive threat to human security which leads to a loss of empowerment and social exclusion, the programme assisted individuals to secure documentation. In protecting their rights, the initiative paved the way for improved political, social and economic conditions. Read the full story here.
06 September 2018: Pacific Islands Forum leaders recognize the role of human security in building resilience
The 49th Pacific Islands Forum was held in Yaren, Nauru from 3-6 September 2018 and was attended by leaders and ministers from various countries across the region. At the forum, leaders recognized that climate change presents the single greatest threat to the livelihood, security and well-being of Pacific people; committed to the implementation of global frameworks that mitigate climate change and its effects; acknowledged the value of a multi-sectoral approach to address climate change and stressed the need for regional governance to address the risks in harmony with local needs. As such, governments advocated for prioritizing human security, environmental preservation, humanitarian assistance and regional cooperation in building resilience to disasters and climate change. Representatives at the Pacific Islands Forum collectively demonstrated a way towards a more comprehensive and inclusive strategy to tackle the evolving challenges they face. Click here for the full communiqué.
26 July 2018: Applying human security to reduce disaster risks in Mauritania
Local Government representatives from across Mauritania came together in an effort to enhance the resilience of their communities through localizing the Sendai Framework for disaster risk reduction. As part of the UNTFHS programme in Tunisia and Mauritania, this initiative enhances the resilience and capacities of local governments and communities to natural hazards through evidence-based action plans. Stakeholders recognized the importance of a people-centred approach in actualizing the Sendai Framework and to actively addresses the interrelated social, economic, and health challenges that hinder sustainable development. Read more about how human security is helping local actors implement comprehensive disaster risk reduction plans here.
23 July 2018: Scaling the human security approach in the Aral Sea region of Uzbekistan
In 2012, the UNTFHS supported the first human security programme to address the multifaceted challenges facing communities devastated by the drying of the Aral Sea. The programme brought together the UN system and a wide range of national and local stakeholders, highlighting the immense value of integrated, comprehensive and participatory strategies to advance sustainable development in the context of environmental disasters. Building upon the success of the programme, the Government of Uzbekistan in partnership with the UN system has established the Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund for the Aral Sea to scale-up efforts to address the interconnected challenges in the region, from expanding employment and income generation, improving public health, strengthening natural resource management and rehabilitating the local ecosystem. Through the catalytic effect of the UNTFHS programme, the Government and international donors can align their support under a strategic vision to reduce vulnerability and build resilience of communities in the Aral Sea region of Uzbekistan.