JICA/UNDP Seminar: Compounded Crises and Human Security Introducing JICA Ogata Research Institute Report "Human Security Today"



Distinguished panelists, honorable guests, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining today's seminar on "Compounded Crises and Human Security," co-hosted by UNDP and JICA.

Is human security still important in today's world? Our answer is an absolute, "YES"! In the following 90 minutes, we will offer an overview of our flagship report, Human Security Today, and discuss the continued relevance of human security.

As we all know, we are in the midst of compounded global crises that could be described as once-in-a-century events. As we witnessed in Pakistan last year, extreme weather events such as massive floods resulting from climate change are inflicting severe damage. The war in Ukraine is not only causing terrible casualties in conflict zones, but also serious energy and food shortages around the world.

Some developing countries are experiencing debt distress triggered by economic damage from the COVID-19 pandemic and rising interest rates. Just last month, a severe earthquake hit Turkey and Syria, including areas still affected by protracted conflict. This exemplifies a double crisis of a natural disaster occurring in a conflict-affected region. These compounded crises are having particularly serious impacts on vulnerable populations by exacerbating preexisting problems like poverty, starvation, and lack of safe drinking water.

In January, I spoke with members of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine. They explained that approximately 30% of Ukraine's land has been contaminated with landmines and unexploded ordinance, jeopardizing people's security and lives. They also emphasized that the contamination of farmland inhibited Ukraine's grain production and exports, further aggravating the global food crisis. This shows us how one crisis can interact with another to create serious threats on a global scale.

In an age of such compounded crises, the concept of "human security" has become more important than ever. This concept places every single human being at the center of security. It aims to build resilient and sustainable societies by connecting people and countries through trust and cooperation among diverse actors.

Seeing the resurgence of international conflict, some may argue that national security should take precedence, and human security should be put on the back burner. But such a view is incorrect. It is true that human security attracted attention only after the end of the Cold War in 1989. However, the essence of human security -- freedom from fear and want, and the preservation of human dignity -- is as old as the history of modern political thought, and national security is a means to achieve it.

The late Dr. Ogata Sadako introduced the concept of human security to JICA in 2003. Now, JICA advocates for and promotes human security as its main mission. As the research arm of JICA, the Ogata Sadako Research Institute for Peace and Development published its flagship report, Human Security Today, last year. The report, which has been translated into English, aims to investigate the state of human security and explain its significance in changing times.

Today, I am honored to introduce the report to all of you. I am also delighted to have on the panel for this event distinguished speakers from the Bangsamoro Transition Authority in the Philippines, the United Nations Human Security Unit, the UNDP, and the London School of Economics.

I am confident that this event will provide a meaningful opportunity to revisit the concept of human security in the current global context, and to discuss how the international community can work together to build a resilient society amid the compounded crises we face.

Thank you very much.

Sns share!

  • X (Twitter)
  • linkedIn
To the list page