Director-General holds information meeting on UNESCO Human Security activities

Director-General holds information meeting on UNESCO Human Security activities
  • © UNESCO/A. Wheeler

On 4 September 2009, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, held an information meeting at UNESCO Headquarters for Ambassadors and Permanent Delegates to take stock of the activities carried out by the Organization in the area of Human Security between 2000 and 2007, and to show how UNESCO was addressing human security concerns across its different fields of competences.

Recalling that human security had emerged as a crucial tool of analysis with the publication of the UNDP Human Development Report in 1994, Mr Matsuura emphasized the three landmark initiatives that had been introduced to give practical form to the concept: the launch of the Human Security Network in Norway in 1999, the creation of the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security in 1999 by the Japanese Government and the UN Secretariat, and the establishment of the Commission on Human Security, whose report published in 2003 on “Human Security Now-Protecting and Empowering People,” had been a valuable source of inspiration for UNESCO.

The Director-General underlined that following the organization of a series of conferences in each of the five regions, UNESCO had been able to implement jointly with UN agencies and other regional organizations, through the support of the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security, some 10 high-profile projects in Cambodia, Nepal, Mongolia, the Russian Federation, Brazil, Burundi, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Palestinian Territories and the Arab Region.

Mr Matsuura went on to note that many of the key issues covered by the concept of human security were now mainstreamed across UNESCO’s actions, and referred in particular to the areas of climate change, Education for Sustainable Development and the promotion of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue. He also added that “by supporting active networks and enhancing dialogue between social science researchers and decision-makers, UNESCO creates opportunities for further discussions in this field at various levels.”

“We have taken full measure of how major threats and risks – such as the prevalence of extreme poverty and illiteracy, the impact of HIV/AIDS, environmental degradation, conflicts and migrations – are very closely interlinked. Through EDUCAIDS, for example, we will continue to emphasize the importance of moving towards a holistic, sector-wide view of the challenges and impacts of HIV and AIDS, focused on prevention through education. However, we must also bear in mind that as the nature of the risks and threats facing the world change, so does the definition of what human security means. It remains therefore a challenge for us to continue to seek a common understanding of human security, explore collaborative efforts for mainstreaming the concept in UN activities and, where necessary, foster new approaches and initiatives”, said the Director-General in conclusion.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokesperson
  • Source:Flash Info N° 157-2009
  • 07-09-2009
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