Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has emphasized the need to promote the concept of human security, noting that the challenges facing the world today threaten the lives of millions and undermine development efforts.
“Everyone has a right to enjoy freedom from fear…freedom from want…and freedom to live in dignity,” Mr. Ban said in a video message for a symposium on human security taking place in Tokyo.
“These mutually reinforcing aspirations are at the heart of human security and our mission to build a better world for all,” he stated.
More than ever, “we live in an interconnected world,” where crises transcend borders and threaten the lives and livelihoods of millions of men, women and children, he noted.
“They increase human insecurity and undermine progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” he added, referring to the targets world leaders have pledged to achieve by 2015, ranging from ensuring quality education and a clean environment to reducing hunger and disease.
He said the symposium can help inform and advance discussions at the high-level summit he will be convening in New York in September at which world leaders will gather to push for further progress on the MDGs.
The landmark 2005 World Summit referred to the concept of human security, recognizing that “that all individuals, in particular vulnerable people, are entitled to freedom from fear and freedom from want, with an equal opportunity to enjoy all their rights and fully develop their human potential.”
In May, the General Assembly held its first formal debate on human security, during which Mr. Ban presented his report on the issue.
Addressing that meeting, he had stressed that “we must ensure that the gains of today are not lost to the crises of tomorrow,” calling for actions focusing on “people-centred, comprehensive, context-specific and preventive strategies at every level.”
Such an approach, the report pointed out, helps address both current and emerging threats, as well as their causes. The report also emphasized the need for strong and stable institutions to advance human security.