Deputy Secretary-General, in Closing Remarks to High-level Event, Says Concept of Human Security ‘Advances Solutions and Answers to Real Needs’

9 May 2013

Deputy Secretary-General, in Closing Remarks to High-level Event, Says Concept of Human Security ‘Advances Solutions and Answers to Real Needs’

9 May 2013
Deputy Secretary-General
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Deputy Secretary-General, in Closing Remarks to High-level Event, Says Concept of

Human Security ‘Advances Solutions and Answers to Real Needs’

Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson’s closing remarks, as prepared for delivery, to the High-level Event on Human Security, in New York, 8 May:

Thank you for being here today at this important time for advancing the human security agenda.  This is an issue and a cause which I have followed closely over the years.  I was privileged to serve as President of the General Assembly when Member States made their first commitment to define human security — in the 2005 World Summit Outcome.

Since then, I have become even more convinced that peace, development, as well as human rights and the rule of law, are interlinked and mutually reinforcing.  Action in these areas in parallel is essential to lasting security, progress and people’s well-being.

In 2008, the General Assembly reaffirmed the potential of human security in responding to current and emerging threats.  The Secretary-General’s report two years later triggered a discussion on human security and led to a report with the views of Member States.

All this helped to generate the milestone General Assembly resolution last October that recognized a common understanding of human security.  It fulfilled the pledge of the 2005 World Summit.

I would like to thank everyone involved in this long, hard and finally successful process.  It proved that a firm commitment to the principles of the United Nations and to the centrality of human dignity can indeed achieve results.

I am also grateful to the UN Trust Fund for Human Security, especially its Advisory Board and donors.  This Fund has supported more than 200 projects in some 80 countries.  They cover a wide range of issues across the United Nations agenda, including climate change, peacebuilding, urban violence, poverty, migration and health.  This, in itself, shows the comprehensive and interdisciplinary nature of the work on human security.

We have learned a number of important lessons.  Now, we should strengthen the Fund and broaden its financial support base.  This Fund is not the only resource available to advance the human security agenda — but it is one of the most substantial.  Now is the time to build on the progress, draw conclusions from the Trust Fund’s projects, and exchange ideas among human security practitioners, as you have so well done here today.

The concept of human security is founded on an understanding of the connection between peace, development and human rights.  It advances solutions and answers to real needs.  It involves global and national authorities and institutions, as well as grass-roots groups and communities.  Everyone benefits.

The Secretary-General and I are working to integrate our work on the main pillars of the United Nations.  This is the best way to improve our effectiveness and is an indispensable way to address the huge multidimensional, cross-cutting challenges we face today.

Partnerships are key to success.  Our aim is to bring together all interested organizations, groups, companies and individuals to create a world where people enjoy peace, development and human dignity.

Today is my first formal meeting on human security for some time, but I deal with this issue every day, directly or indirectly.  When I visit Syrian refugees, when I advocate for water and toilets for all people, when I take a stand to end violence against women, I participate in the work for human security.  I am just one of many who have seen the value of integrating efforts and working together.

As an envoy dealing with several conflict situations, I realized that peace would never take root in fragile and insecure conditions.  As the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, I understood that humanitarian aid could only go so far in restoring normalcy.  As Deputy Secretary-General, I appreciate even more that we have to pull together all the knowledge, expertise and energy of the United Nations system in order to reach common goals, above all, to improve the lives for the millions and millions we are here to serve.

I count on all of you to build on the success of today’s event by advancing the human security approach when we work to create a better future for all.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.