"Fifth Meeting of the Commission on Human Security" and "International Symposium on Human Security"

February 14, 2003

1. Taking the opportunity of the "Fifth Meeting of the Commission on Human Security" to be held on February 23 (Sun) and 24 (Mon), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will hold an "International Symposium on Human Security" at the Akasaka Prince Hotel in Tokyo on February 25 (Tue).

2. This Symposium will be held following the adoption of the final report of the Commission on Human Security at its Fifth Meeting. The Symposium will be attended by experts in various fields including the co-chairs of the Commission on Human Security, Mrs. Sadako Ogata and Professor Amartya Sen.

3. The theme of the Symposium is "Human Security - Its Role in an Era of Various Threats to the International Community." The final report of the Commission on Human Security will be explained, and the summary of the recommendation in the report will be discussed in the context of what measures should be taken by the international community including Japan through the three sessions: "Human security in conflict," "Human security and development," "Theory and Practice (introduction of concrete examples of actions from the viewpoint of human security and its application to reality)."


1. The Commission on Human Security was established after a meeting between Mr. Kofi Annan, U.N. Secretary General, and Mrs. Sadako Ogata, former U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, in Tokyo in January 2001 in response to Japan's call at the U.N. Millennium Summit in September 2000.
    The Commission, co-chaired by Mrs. Sadako Ogata, Special Representative of the Prime Minister for Afghanistan Assistance, and Professor Amartya Sen, Master, Trinity College, Cambridge University, and consisted of 10 other world-renowned experts, aims at developing the concept of human security and proposing a concrete program of action for the international community.

2. Concept of Human Security
    In parallel with rapid globalization, trans-national issues such as infectious diseases and environmental problems have spread all over the world and frequent regional conflicts and economic factors have given rise to a serious issue of involuntary movement of people such as refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs).
    It is therefore necessary, in addition to the concept of traditional national security, to strengthen a framework in order to protect and empower individuals and their communities and to protect the potential of each individual, focusing on viewpoints of individuals, to overcome serious and wide-ranged direct threats to human lives, livelihoods and dignity.
    Under such a concept, with the adoption of the final report, Japan intends to reorient human security, which has been a key perspective of Japan's foreign policy, in accordance with the report, and strengthen its ODA efforts.

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