Diplomatic Bluebook 2001

G. Human Security

1. Human Security

The international community currently faces a number of global challenges, including poverty, conflict, refugees, human rights violation, HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, crime, terrorism, and environmental degradation. As the advance of globalization renders these issues less and less amenable to solution by individual countries, it is becoming vital that human-centered efforts are strengthened from the perspective of protecting the lives, livelihoods and dignity of individual human beings. Ensuring the "human security" perspective requires the cooperation of all actors in the international community, including governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other members of civil society. Positioning human security as the cornerstone of international cooperation in the 21st century, Japan is working to make the new century a human-centered century.

2. Japan's Initiatives

Prime Minister Obuchi clearly located human security in Japan's foreign policy by emphasizing the importance of this perspective in making the 21st century a human-centered century, and also by announcing the establishment of the Trust Fund for Human Security in the United Nations.

In July 2000, Japan held the International Symposium on Human Security in Tokyo, inviting Professor Amartya Sen from Trinity College, Cambridge University (1998 Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics), UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata, and other key figures from Japan and abroad. Participants considered responses to conflict-related issues and efforts in the development area from a human security perspective, also engaging in lively discussion on how to ensure human security.

In his September statement to the UN Millennium Summit, Prime Minister Mori positioned human security as one of the key perspectives of Japanese diplomacy. He also announced Japan's intention to make a further contribution of about US$100 million to the Trust Fund for Human Security, a fund which was established in the UN in March 1999 and to which Japan had already contributed well over US$80 million. Furthermore, Mr. Mori expressed Japan's support for the establishment of an international commission on human security, and called for the deepening of human-centered initiatives.

In response to this statement, Japan has steadily taken measures to contribute to the Trust Fund from the FY 2000 supplementary budget and the FY 2001 regular budget. (In January 2001, the establishment of the Commission on Human Security was formally announced, to be co-chaired by Mrs. Sadako Ogata and Professor Amartya Sen.)

As observed above, Japan is leading discussion on human security in international fora by instituting a series of concrete measures and providing intellectual and financial contributions. These efforts will be strengthened in the years to come, positioning human security as a key perspective in developing Japan's foreign policy.

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