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International Leaders Convene for Forum on Human Security and Health

May 14, 2010—On May 14, the Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE) organized a seminar on human security and health in collaboration with the permanent missions of Japan and Norway to the UN, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and the Institute of International Education. The event was organized just one week prior to the formal debate in the UN General Assembly on the secretary-general’s report on human security, which provided a basis for some of the discussions. The strong interest in the seminar, which was attended by more than 130 people of diverse backgrounds and expertise from within and outside of the UN, illustrates the growing interest in human security and the hunger for new approaches to the challenges that individuals and communities around the world face on a daily basis.

Although it is by no means a new concept, many leaders believe that human security offers a promising framework for making the UN more effective at responding to the complex, interrelated, and transnational challenges that the world faces in the 21st century and impacting the lives, livelihood, and dignity of the people it has been designed to serve. The seminar approached human security from the perspective of the health field in order to discuss application of the human security framework in a concrete field that affects everyone around the world in one way or another.

Speakers addressed recent global challenges, such as the global financial crisis and earthquake in Haiti, in the context of a human security approach, and focused on key topics and themes including the definition of human security; the development of resilient and sustainable systems for human security that can withstand threats and disasters; changes in global governance, including decision-making and the mobilization of resources; and the protection and empowerment of communities around the world as advocates of their own security and health. The group also outlined next steps for leaders to consider in order to improve human security and health in the face of persistent and emerging global threats.

Seminar on Human Security and Health

Friday, May 14, 2010

Institute of International Education, NY, USA 

Co-organized by

Japan Center for International Exchange

Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of Norway to the United Nations

Human Security Unit, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, United Nations

Co-sponsored by

Institute of International Education


Opening Session

  • Tadashi Yamamoto, President, Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE)
  • Yukio Takasu, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations (UN)
  • Morten Wetland, Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations (UN)

Briefing on the UN Secretary General’s Report on Human Security

  • Robert Orr, Assistant Secretary General for Policy Coordination and Strategic Planning

Keynote Speeches

  • Moderator: Allan Goodman, President and CEO, Institute of International Education
Human security and global health governance:
  • Sigrun Møgedal, HIV/AIDS Ambassador of Norway; Chair, Global Health Workforce Alliance
Relationship between human security and health:
  • Lincoln Chen, President, China Medical Board; former member of the Commission on Human Security

Panel Discussion: Added Value of Human Security Approaches to Health Challenges

  • Moderator: Allan Goodman
  • Saad Houry, Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF
  • Purnima Mane, Deputy Executive Director, UNFPA
  • Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations

Presentation from Haiti

Human security in Haiti before and after the earthquake:
  • Dan Fitzgerald, Haitian Group for the Study of Kaposi's Sarcoma and Opportunistic Infection (GHESKIO)


Photos from the Seminar on Human Security and Health
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