When introduced in 1994, the human security approach refocused the security debate from territorial security to people’s security. This idea, which the UN General Assembly endorsed in 2012, invited security scholars and policymakers to look beyond protecting the nation-state to protecting what we care most about in our lives: our basic needs, our physical integrity, our human dignity. It emphasized the importance of everyone’s right to freedom from fear, freedom from want and freedom from indignity. It highlighted the close connection among security, development and the protection and empowerment of individuals and communities. This report explores how the new generation of interacting threats, playing out in the Anthropocene context, affect human security and what to do about it.
Part I of the Report shows how the human security concept helps identify blind spots when development is assessed simply by measuring achievements in wellbeing and suggests ways to enrich the human security frame to account for the unprecedented challenges of the Anthropocene context.
Part II discusses four threats to human security that are superimposed on the Anthropocene context the downsides of digital technology, violent conflict, horizontal inequalities, and evolving challenges to healthcare systems. While the underlying challenge of each threat taken individually is not new, the threats are novel in the expression that they acquire in the Anthropocene context and their interlinked nature, which has been building over time. Current development journeys have often missed that point, focusing on addressing problems in silos when designing or evaluating policy.
South-South Global Thinkers Initiative is happy to engage with UNDP HDRO in the consultative process of the report. Thank you to the think tank members for providing diverse perspectives from the Global South to help inform such policy advocacy tools and debates, giving a broad view of development challenges and their solutions that are representative and unequivocally reflect or match the reality in the Global South.