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Assembly President highlights humancentred approach to security

7 November 2007A human-centred approach to security – one that extends beyond the State and focuses more on the protection and empowerment of people – lies at the core of an evolving new culture of international relations, General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim said today. A human-centred approach to security – one that extends beyond the State and focuses more on the protection and empowerment of people – lies at the core of an evolving new culture of international relations, General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim said today. Addressing a meeting of the Friends of Human Security, held this afternoon at UN Headquarters in New York, Mr. Kerim said this new culture is one “based on the values of human rights, the rule of law, human security, the responsibility to protect and sustainable development.” Mr. Kerim argued that a human-centred approach to security goes hand in hand with individuals accepting greater responsibility for their own well-being, but added that it also has implications for the role of the State. “States should place greater emphasis on their individual and collective responsibilities to care for the well-being of their citizens, as well as for the well-being of individuals that may be threatened wherever they may be,” he stated. Some States have already responded and given greater importance to human security in their national security agendas, he said. They did so by promoting the importance of the link between international development and stability, and between global inequality and national security. “In our interdependent world more and more of the threats to peace and stability are challenges that States cannot deal with on their own,” he said, adding that they must be addressed collectively through the multilateral system. “The United Nations, in particular, has an important role to play to put positive peace, and not just the mere absence of conflict, at the heart of multilateral discourses on security,” stated the President. “We should try to make human security a principle that is better reflected in a wider range of UN activities – from peacebuilding, human rights, development, and migration, to the environment, gender equality and fighting organized crime and human trafficking,” he added.