Official Development Assistance (ODA)
Symposium on Human Security
Human Security: Stronger People, Brighter Future

Overview and Evaluation

June 3, 2013

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan


On June 2, the "Symposium on Human Security" was held on the occasion of the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICADV). Participants amounted to approximately 250 people which include:

  • Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan,
  • Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan,
  • Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn, President of the African Union and Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia,
  • Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia,
  • Miss Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),
  • Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO),
  • Mr. Anthony Lake, Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
  • Dr. Sadako Ogata, Advisor to Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, and Special Advisor to the President of Japan International Cooperation Agency,
  • Ambassador Yukio Takasu, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Human Security,
  • Mr. Ramtane Lamamra, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union and Member of the Advisory Board on Human Security
  • Dr. Lola Dare, Chief Executive Officer of Centre for Health Sciences Training, Research and Development (CHESTRAD)

Human security was a theme permeating TICADV. In the Yokohama Declaration, promoting human security was treated as one of the overarching principles of TICADV and it was confirmed that the leaders will strive to establish an effective post-2015 development agenda guided by human security. In addition, the significance of human security was underscored in various opportunities, including the special session on Somalia and the session on disaster risk reduction organized by the world bank and UNDP.

1. Evaluation of the Event:

(1) Broad and substantial discussions were held on human security, including its conceptual development and implementation in the field of African Development. The discussions contributed to the promotion of the understanding on human security as well as the implementation of UN General Assembly resolution on human security (A/RES/66/290) which was adopted in September 2012 by involving leaders from Africa, a focus of development efforts, and international organizations.

(2) The symposium provided a forum to discuss human security through the perspective of the issue of health. It helped deepen the recognition that human security is a practical principle which promotes a holistic approach, transcending sectoral silos, in addressing multitude of issues.

(3) The symposium contributed to the efforts for establishing the post-2015 development agenda, which will shape the future of international cooperation, by sending a message appealing the need of an effective framework based on human security.

2. Overview

(1) Opening Remarks

  • Prime Minister Abe opened the symposium by calling for the cooperation of all stakeholders to promote human security in Africa and realize the development of the entire continent, as human development lays the foundation for national development. Prime Minister Abe introduced the Japan's Strategy on Global Health Diplomacy which was recently decided and affirmed that Japan poses global health as a priority in its diplomacy and promotes universal health coverage (UHC) so that everyone can receive basic healthcare services. (PDF, 49KB)
  • Mr. Hailemariam, President of African Union, stated that it is crucial to ensure not only the security of states and territories, but also the security of every individual in all aspects, including social, economic and environmental. Mr. Hailemariam further expressed his confidence that human security will be promoted in Africa by making the principle as a guideline for actions and policies of AU and by making efforts together with many partners.

(2) Discussions on the Promotion of Human Security

Panel discussion followed under the chairmanship of Foreign Minister Kishida.

  • Mrs. Sirleaf, President of Liberia and a Co-Chair of the High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, appealed that human security approach is effective in poverty eradication and in ensuring access to all basic services. Mrs. Sirleaf commended the "Abe inistiative" for human resource development which was announced by Prime Minister Abe in the TICADV opening session held on June 1. (PDF, 29KB)
  • Miss Clark, UNDP Administrator, affirmed that human security concept is closely related with the UNDP activities and the work of UN Trust Fund on Human Security, to which Japan is making contributions, has proved the effectiveness of human security approach in strengthening communities and redressing inequalities. (UNDP Websiteother site)
  • Dr. Ogata stated that human security is a practical concept which she came to embrace through her experience as UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Dr. Ogata also touched upon the High-level Event on Human Security which was held on May 8 at the United Nations and the activities by the UN Trust Fund for Human Security. She said even though we are witnessing a certain progress, we need further efforts to promote human security. (PDF, 70KB)
  • Mr. Lamamra, AU Commissioner and member of the Advisory Board on Human Security, called for contributions to the UN Trust Fund for Human Security from the international community, claiming its activities are mostly held in Africa and further efforts require resource mobilizations.

(3) Discussions on the Implementation of Human Security (focusing on health)

  • Dr. Chan, Director General of WHO, claimed that health is an indispensable area to achieve human security and that UHC is an essential tool for that end so as to be able to address various diseases which are not covered by the MDGs.
  • Ms. Dare, CEO of CHESTRAD and representing NGOs, stated the need to make efforts on human security by incorporating this principle into the post-2015 development agenda in order to realize UHC, while pointing out health-related challenges such as the vulnerability in health systems and the lack of human resources. (PDF, 119KB)
  • Mr. Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF, mentioned that true security can only be achieved through the security of every individual and that investing the poorest children is particularly effective and we need to save them through human security approach, by citing the example of health-related interventions in Niger. (PDF, 157KB)

(4) Open Discussions

  • Open discussions were held under the moderation by Ambassador Takasu. Tunisian foreign minister as well as the leaders of UNFPA, UNODC and others actively participated in the discussions.

(5) Closing Remarks

  • Foreign Minister Kishida made closing remarks by expressing his hope that understanding on the practicality of human security has deepened through the concrete discussions particularly focusing on health. Minister Kishida further stated that coordination among various stakeholders and effective development will be possible through human security and called for joining efforts towards establishing the post-2015 development agenda based on human security. (PDF, 44KB)

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