Saturday, April 16, 2011

As world faces interconnected threats, General Assembly focuses on human security

Prevention Web via the UN News Centre: The interconnected risks that the modern world faces, from conflicts and natural disasters to deep poverty and disease, means a much broader definition of security is needed to ensure that individuals can live their lives with dignity and autonomy, the General Assembly heard today.

Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro told the Assembly, which is holding an informal debate on human security, that recent events such as the tsunami and earthquake in Japan or the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa show that populations – whether in countries rich or poor – are as vulnerable as never before.

“That is why we need an expanded paradigm of security that encompasses a broad range of conditions threatening the survival, livelihoods and dignity of individuals,” Ms. Migiro said, noting that “threats can be as sudden and unpredictable as a tsunami or they can be as protracted and unyielding as an oppressive dictatorship.”

Today’s debate and panel discussions, held at United Nations Headquarters in New York, follow the release of a human security report by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last year in which he urged governments to devise policies that are “people-centred.”

UN Member States are discussing how to define human security, beyond the outline from the World Summit in 2005, when global leaders agreed that it includes both freedom from fear and freedom from want…

Damage from Cyclone Sidr in 2007, US Navy photo

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