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Human Security Activities in 2014


3 December: The United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS) is pleased to announce the 2015 Call for Proposals as well as important revisions to the UNTFHS GuidelinesIn line with the Human Security Unit's Strategic Plan 2014-2017, starting in 2015 the UNTFHS will support initiatives which aim to promote the system-wide application of the human security approach. While the Fund remains committed to advancing the application of the human security approach at field-level, priority will be given to projects and programmes which explicitly mainstream the approach within the United Nations system at the national level. At the same time, to promote greater usage of the human security approach across the United Nations system, and to translate the lessons learned from national level human security programmes into strategies and policies at headquarters, for each Call for Proposals the UNTFHS will support activities in a specific thematic area where human security can add value as a comprehensive and cross-cutting approach. For further information, as well as tools for developing human security projects and programmes, please click here

8 October: The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) launched a publication titled "Empowerment and Protection: Stories of Human Security" at an event at the Permanent Mission of the Netherlands in New York, co-hosted with the UN Human Security Unit. The publication shares and analyses people’s sense of threats and safety through a human security lens. Spanning six regions of the world, it presents the accounts of people living in Afghanistan, the State of Palestine, Zimbabwe, Ukraine, Mexico, and the Philippines. The report surmises that as a people-centred approach to understanding threats to people’s livelihoods, safety and dignity, human security is useful as both an analytical tool and an operational approach for addressing socio-political problems.
26 September: The Human Security Network (HSN) held its Annual High-Level Meeting on 26 September 2014, in New York. Hosted by the Permanent Mission of Austria, the current Chair of the HSN, the members renewed their commitment to the Network; evaluated the Network’s accomplishments and the recent developments on human security over the course of the last year; and discussed next steps and joint activities for the 69th session of the UN General Assembly. Members focused on how the human security approach could be included in the next development framework and on efforts to continue to mainstream the approach into other areas of the UN. 

19 September: The 11th edition of "Human Security at the United Nations", a newsletter produced by the United Nations Human Security Unit (HSU) is now avaiable. This issue examines human security’s contribution to the post-2015 development agenda and highlights a UNTFHS-funded project in Tajikistan which takes a human security approach to promote inclusive and sustainable development for remote rural communities. For previous issues and to subscribe to this newsletter please click here.

12 September: A September 2014 Newsletter on the UNTFHS-funded project "Human security through inclusice socio-economic development in Upper Egypt" is available in English. This issue highlights the establishment of the Human Security Forums, a mechanism for inclusive and participatory community development, as well as the launch of Village Savings and Loan Associations as a means to empower rural women.
5 September: A documentary on the UNTFHS-funded project "Human security through inclusice socio-economic development in Upper Egypt", which aims to improve the human security of vulnerable households, youth, women and children in Upper Egypt, is available in both English and Arabic.
31 August: Deadline for the submission of papers for the conference titled ‘20 Years On: Human Security at Crossroads’. The conference is co-organized by the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR) at Coventry University, the Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis (CESRAN), the United Nations Human Security Unit, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Turkey and Kadir Has University as the host organisation, and will be held in Istanbul on 23 and 24 October 2014. Further information is available here
30-31 July: The ICIMHS 2014: International Conference on International Migration and Human Security will be held in Zurich, Switzerland from 30 to 31 July 2014. The conference aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results about all aspects of international migration and human security. It also provides interdisciplinary forum for researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns, practical challenges encountered and the solutions adopted in the field of international migration and human security. 


21 July: The Human Security Unit (HSU) is pleased to announce the release of its Strategic Plan for the period 2014 to 2017. Twenty years since the term human security was first introduced to the United Nations system, the added value of the human security approach is increasingly recognized by Governments, both at the national and local levels, as well as by regional organizations, civil society groups and the United Nations system. Drawing on the wealth of experiences and lessons learned over the past two decades, the goals and objectives set out in this Strategic Plan point the way forward for mainstreaming human security in the activities of the United Nations and extending its global awareness over next four years. 


12-17 July: The Caux Forum for Human Security brings together around 300 people active in many aspects of human security – politicians, diplomats, academics, journalists, fieldworkers, business people and artists, at its annual conferences. This year, the conference will focus on Just Governance for Human Security. The conference is concerned with the human factors which enable both leaders and citizens to work effectively towards an inclusive, democratic approach.
25-27 June: Marking 20 years since the term human security was first coined, Oxford Brookes University is hosting a 3-day international conference entitled 'Human Security @ 20: Past Experiences and Future Prospects' to take stock of two decades of conceptualizing and practicing human security. It seeks to promote new approaches to understand and address interdependent threats to human dignity. The conference emphasizes the concept of human security as an instrument of change, underlying its holistic character and its use as a methodological tool. The conference will have an academic and a practical dimension and is intended to feed into academic and policy programs for advancing human security and its discourse. The deadline for submitting concept papers is 1 May. 


18 June: The President of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly convened a thematic debate on human security entitled, "Responding to the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century: Human security and the post-2015 development agenda." The debate provided an opportunity for Member States and participants to exchange views on the third report of the Secretary-General on human security (A168/685) and to discuss how human security might be included in the post-2015 development framework.
Focusing on the billions of people, in all corners of the world, who are caught in a vicious cycle of poverty, marginalisation and insecurity, the debate underscored how the human security approach and its principles recognize the intrinsic linkages between the three pillars of the United Nations – development, peace and security and human rights – and give expression to the commitments agreed to by the General Assembly to ensure greater inclusive social and economic development, environmental sustainability, and peace and security.
During the deliberations, several Member States highlighted the added value of the human security approach to the post-2015 development framework. Some emphasized the importance of human security as an overarching framework for the articulation of the post-2015 development agenda, and others recommended that that the principles of human security be incorporated in the next global development framework.
The debate was opened by the General Assembly President, H.E. John W. Ashe and Deputy Secretary-General, Mr. Jan Eliasson. Mr. Yukio Takasu, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Human Security, moderated discussions among participants and the following panellists: Professor Des Gasper, International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague; Ms. Sonia Picado, Chair of the Advisory Board on Human Security; H.E. Thierry Alia, Minister Counselor to the Permanent Mission of Benin to the United Nation; Professor Juan Pulhin, College of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of the Philippines Los Baños; and Ms. Oulie Keita, Regional Representative of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding. General Assembly Vice-President, H.E Charles Thembani Ntwaagae, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Botswana to the UN, closed the meeting and expressed his hope that the experiences and ideas exchanged at the debate could inspire further initiatives in all regions and countries, as well as at the United Nations. More information on the thematic debate is available here.


9 June: The Human Security Network delivered a statement at the High-level event on the "Contribution of Human Rights and Rule of Law in the post-2015 development agenda". By addressing inequality and discrimination, taking into account the needs of most vulnerable groups, and strengthening civil society, the Network highlighted the contribution of the human security approach in the promotion and protection of human rights, respect for the rule of law, and towards sustainable development for all. A copy of the statement is available here
15 May: As part of the UNTFHS-funded project titled 'Supporting the strengthening of government institutions and civil society capacities to improve the protection of vulnerable migrants in transit' IOM Mexico has launched an E-learning Platform on Human Security and Migration. The online platform is a training tool that will provide quality and up-to-date training on issues of human security and migration, trafficking, children and adolescent migrants, human rights and crime prevention.  It was designed for use by public officials, representatives of civil society and Central and South American consular officials responsible for providing assistance, guidance and protection to migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees.
25 April: The Government of Austria, as the incoming Chair of the Human Security Network, made a statement at the Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security: Sexual Violence in Conflict. The Network noted that the challenge of sexual violence and conflict is a complex one, and highlighted the need for a comprehensive, multi-sectoral and multidimensional approach for the prevention of conflict-related sexual violence and emphasizes the need for national ownership, leadership and responsibility in the implementation of the prevention frameworks. 
24 April: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Fifth Assessment Report. The report provides a clear and up to date view of the current state of scientific knowledge relevant to climate change and consists of three Working Group Reports and a Synthesis Report. Under Working Group II titled ‘Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability’, a chapter on Human Security highlights the multi-dimensional impact of climate change on vulnerable people and states, including undermining livelihoods, compromising culture and identity, increasing migration that people would rather have avoided, and challenging the ability of states to provide the conditions necessary for human security. The final Synthesis Report which will be released in October 2014.
25 March: The 4th Istanbul Conference on Human Security, titled ‘20 Years On: Human Security at Crossroads’, has issued a call for conference papers with a deadline of 1 August. The aim of the conference is to critically explore the development of human security reflecting on and examining how human security has evolved both within theory and practice. How has policy impacted the way in which human security issues are theorised and implemented nationally, regionally, and globally? How do we operationalize and localise the human security agenda? What is the future of human security and where are we heading? The objective is to therefore provide a forum to explore how human security has developed within academic and policy realms and its future trajectories. The conference will take place in Istanbul on 23 and 24 October.  
26 March: The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Violence (GPPAC) launched a new human security initiative in Mali titled 'Civil Society for a Human Security Strategy in Mali', in partnership with the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) and the Human Security Collective (HSC). With the overall goal to contribute to human security and sustainable peacebuilding efforts in Mali, the project will support and inform an inclusive and people-centred dialogue process to address the root causes and multiple manifestations of conflict in Mail towards the development of human security strategies by Malian civil society.
7 March: Member States of the Human Security Network made a joint statement at the Security Council open debate on children and armed conflict. The debate focused on how to make progress on the full implementation of the children and armed conflict agenda. A copy of the statement is available here.
31 January - 1 February: The Helsinki Citizen’s Assembly in Istanbul will host a 2-day conference entitled ‘Humanizing Security’. The conference will mark the launch of the ‘Crossborder Citizens’ Network on Human Security’ project, which intends to build a citizens’ network for peace, reconciliation and human security across Turkey and Balkans. The aim of the conference is to raise awareness on local and regional human security issues, including social inclusion, inter-communal reconciliation and good governance, and to expand the Network’s outreach by bringing together experts on human security, representatives of various international organisations, civil society actors, academics and the media. Click here for the Key Note Address given by Ms. Mehrnaz Mostafavi, Chief of the Human Security Unit. 


21 January: We are pleased to announce the release of the third report by the Secretary-General on human security. The report is based on a wealth of information gathered in response to questionnaires sent to Governments of all Member States, regional organizations, the United Nations system, academic and research institutions, and non-governmental organizations. It provides numerous examples, across a range of thematic areas, where the value of the human security approach to our determination to reduce the likelihood of conflicts, overcome the obstacles to sustainable development, and promote a life of dignity for all is presented. From these experiences, critical lessons have been learned, such as, the importance of advancing inclusive and people-centered solutions; the need to tailor national strategies and international responses to the multi-dimensional context of vulnerabilities at the local level; and the significance of comprehensive approaches based on a more integrated United Nations system, in partnership with Governments and people. The report closes with a set of recommendations which aim to promote the mainstreaming of human security into the activities of the United Nations system as well as its application as an overarching framework in the post-2015 Development Agenda.