In the wake of bushfires and coronavirus, it’s time we talked about human security

Fri, 27 Mar 2020 04:21:06 +1100

Andrew Pam <xanni [at]>

Andrew Pam

"The term “human security” was first adopted by the United Nations
Development Program in 1994. We speak far less of it now than we did
then. Yet the cataclysmic events of this year should remind us national
security is no longer to be thought of in terms of conventional warfare
and military expenditure.

Put simply, human security encompasses all those threats to survival
that are not military or state-sponsored, and therefore tend to fall
beneath the radar of those who imagine security in conventionally “hard”

The recent bushfires and the coronavirus pandemic reveal imminent
threats from climate change and global diseases that threaten the very
survival of what we take for granted. Yet governments have been far less
willing to commit to responding to these issues than to increasing
military budgets.

When the concept of human security emerged it was designed to address
seven themes: “economic, food, health, environmental, personal,
community and political security”. While these terms may seem too broad
to be useful, all of them are directly related to the crises now facing
the world."

        *** Xanni ***
--                   Andrew Pam                 Chief Scientist, Xanadu             Partner, Glass Wings                Manager, Serious Cybernetics

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