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Health, Resilience, and the Added Value of the Human Security Approach: Achieving the SDGs


Launch Seminars: New York | Washington DC


Background

Since 2007, JCIE has been carrying out the “Global Health and Human Security Program,” which has included a wide range of research, outreach, and advocacy initiatives. As part of that program JCIE and the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) have collaborated on a project to analyze case studies of how the human security approach is being implemented on the ground and how it can contribute to broader goals of health, resilience, and development. The project resulted in a report, Health, Resilience, and Human Security: Moving Toward Health for All. The findings are being shared broadly with policymakers and practitioners in the field through two seminars, one in New York and one in Washington DC.





Health, Resilience, and Human Security: Achieving the SDGs

NY Seminar
Venue: UN Secretariat Building, Conference Room 6
Date & Time: Monday, May 2, 16:30–18:00, followed by reception 18:00–19:00
Organizers: Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE), UN Human Security Unit
Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO)
Speakers
Yukio Takasu Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Human Security
Keizo Takemi Member, House of Councillors, National Diet of Japan; Senior Fellow, JCIE
Joy Phumaphi Executive Secretary, African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA); former Minister of Health, Botswana
Susan Hubbard Senior Associate, JCIE/USA
Marcelo Korc Advisor, PAHO/WHO
DC Seminar
Venue: PAHO/WHO
Date & Time: Thursday, May 5, 16:00–17:30
Organizers: Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE),
Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO)
Speakers
Carissa Etienne Director, PAHO/WHO
Keizo Takemi Member, House of Councillors, National Diet of Japan; Senior Fellow, JCIE
Susan Hubbard Senior Associate, JCIE/USA
Marcelo Korc Advisor, PAHO/WHO
Edna Yolani Bates Secretary of Health, Honduras
Taylor Seybolt Director, Ford Institute for Human Security, University of Pittsburgh
Kira Fortune Advisor, Determinants of Health, PAHO/WHO





As the international community’s development agenda transitions from the era of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to that of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda, the time is ripe to revisit human security and explore its practical implications for the new development agenda. Echoing human security principles, the 2030 Agenda emphasizes a “world free of poverty, hunger, disease and want…free of fear and violence…with equitable and universal access to quality education, health care and social protection.” It calls for development strategies that result in more resilient societies where people are safe from chronic threats such as ill health, abject poverty, hunger, disease, violence, and repression, and are protected from sudden and hurtful disruptions in their daily lives.

How can "human security" provide a framework for achieving those goals, and particularly SDG3, which calls to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages"? What does human security mean in practical terms? These were among the questions addressed at a forum held yesterday at the United Nations, co-organized by JCIE, PAHO-WHO, and the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security. Nearly 100 UN ambassadors, officials, and experts gathered to hear the findings of the joint JCIE-PAHO report on Health, Resilience, and Human Security and to discuss how those lessons can be applied moving forward.

Amb. Yukio Takasu opened the meeting by discussing the SDGs and the key role of health within those goals. He noted that while it is often said there can be no development without peace and no peace without development, you can have neither peace nor development without health. In his keynote speech, Hon. Keizo Takemi applauded the release of the new JCIE-PAHO report on human security, describing Japan’s contribution to the development of the concept and how it has been integrated into Japan's foreign policy. Joy Phumaphi offered a developing country perspective and noted that while the definition of human security seems simple, it has profound implications for the developing world. She stressed that the multisectoral and multidimensional approach offered by human security is needed for a comprehensive development framework. Susan Hubbard and Marcelo Korc then shared the findings of the report they co-authored, highlighting the principles of and opportunities offered by the human security approach.

On May 5, a follow-up event was organized in Washington DC to discuss the implications of the report, particularly for PAHO/WHO member states, which adopted a resolution on human security in 2010. PAHO/WHO director and host of the event, Carissa Etienne, opened the discussion by talking about the importance of some of the principles of human security to PAHO/WHO’s work throughout the region. Hon. Keizo Takemi praised PAHO/WHO for its resolution and outlined why it is increasingly impossible to even talk about global health without considering its human security dimensions. JCIE's Susan Hubbard spoke about how health responders battling the spread of epidemics like Ebola cannot just rely on healthcare workers, but need to deal a wide range of actors—from local governments considering quarantines to religious leaders who have the authority to persuade people to change how they wash bodies and carry out funerals to avoid disease transmission. Marcelo Korc of PAHO/WHO talked about lessons he has learned from trying to integrate the report’s findings into the health policymaking structures of member states, including the need for better understanding of what human security means on a theoretical and practical level. The Secretary of Health of Honduras, Edna Yolani Batres, then presented examples of her country's health-related initiatives aimed at enhancing human security, citing the establishment of May 3 as “Fruit Day” (Dia de la Fruta) to promote good nutrition. Taylor Seybolt of the Ford Institute for Human Security at the University of Pittsburgh praised the report for bringing the discussion of human security to a practical level but challenged the authors to focus next on developing mechanisms for measuring human security as a next step toward developing a better understanding of its added value.



Read full report:
Health, Resilience, and Human Security: Moving Toward Health for All
Salud, Resiliencia, y Seguridad Humana: Hacia la Salud Para Todos