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Position Paper: The Human Security Approach in Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding
Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict, Civil Society Network for Human Security, IKV Pax Christi
April 2013
In an interconnected world, security must be seen as a global public good. The state-centric notion of security, which emphasises the territorial integrity of the state and the role of military force, falls short in addressing the different dimensions of security in the life of individual human being. State-centric security policies tend to take a top-down approach that fails to address issues that ultimately affect civilians’ perceived sense of safety, peace and justice in the long-term. There is a growing consensus about the need for a more holistic approach, based on a better understanding of what individuals and communities need in order to feel safe and secure. By recognizing the structural causes of conflict in terms of social, economic and political exclusion, grievances and inequalities, the human security approach requires analysing root causes, mapping existing local capacities for peace, and designing coordinated strategies for civil society and governmental preventive action as part of a long-term commitment to peace.
In response to the recent Human Security Survey, we welcome the initiative to gather input not only from Member States but also from NGOs and civil society on human security initiatives. UN GA resolution 64/701 contains limited reference to independent civil society/NGO initiatives in the section “initiatives to promote human security”. This paper offers civil society perspectives on the human security concept and how it applies in the UN and broader contexts, relating in particular to peacebuilding and conflict prevention. It identifies key peace and security challenges, and makes recommendations to the UN and member sates on the development of the concept as both an operational and policy framework. It provides input to the interpretation of the General Assembly resolutions 66/290 and 66/763, with a focus on conflict prevention and peacebuilding. (…)


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