Wednesday, September 12, 2012

UN General Assembly Adopts Resolution on Human Security

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the General Assembly’s adoption of a resolution on human security, describing it as “both timely and significant,” and marking “an important milestone in a common understanding of human security at the United Nations.”   

“Today’s complex and interrelated threats – natural disasters, violent conflicts, crises in the food, health and economic sectors – pose enormous challenges to the survival, livelihood and dignity of millions of people across the globe,” the Secretary-General added in a statement issued on Tuesday night.  “With adoption of this resolution we have reached a common understanding of human security from which we can further strengthen our activities and extend the reach of human security to all,” he noted.   

At a meeting on Monday, the General Assembly adopted, by consensus, the resolution on human security. At that meeting, Jordan’s representative, who introduced a second draft of the document – on behalf of the other main co-sponsor, Japan, and the so-called Human Security Network – said that the text made clear that human security was distinct from the principle known as responsibility to protect although it entrusted Governments with the primary role of ensuring its citizens’ survival, livelihood and dignity.    

Sometimes known as ‘R2P,’ the principle of the responsibility to protect holds States responsible for shielding their own populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and related crimes against humanity and requires the international community to step in if this obligation is not met.   

“Guided by the principles of the United Nations Charter, human security brings together the three pillars of the Organization and seeks to promote greater coherence in our response to various challenges facing people worldwide,” the UN chief said.  He also commended Member States and the meeting’s co-facilitators for their efforts and collaborative spirit in reaching agreement on human security.  “We must seize this opportunity to advance the application of human security at the field level and expand collaboration at the international, regional and national levels,” he added.   

(Adapted from a UN Press Release)

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