Human security: how can stability and development be achieved in uncertain times?

The latest issue of GIZ’s akzente magazine explores ideas and concepts of human security and provides an insight into practical work in this field.

A life free from fear and want – for all. That is what human security, the focus of the latest issue of GIZ’s akzente magazine, stands for. In adopting the 2030 Agenda, the international community set itself an overarching goal, namely to achieve lasting peace and to ensure that everyone can live in safety and develop as individuals.

In his feature essay, security and global trends expert Mathew Burrows outlines how the concept of human security emerged and has evolved. He sets out the global developments that are undermining human security and draws up five points which the global community should address in order to promote human development. Martin Jäger provides a different perspective on the topic in his guest column: ‘Yes, we need to address some very serious and potentially existential challenges, but that’s no reason for doom-mongering or resignation,’ writes the State Secretary at the German Development Ministry. Using Afghanistan as an example, he shows the progress that can be achieved even under the most challenging of conditions.

International cooperation has a particular role to play in strengthening human security. The reports in akzente illustrate just how different the paths to achieving this objective can be. We accompany officers from a mobile police station in Bethlehem as they patrol the city. Courageous teachers in Afghanistan are working to improve education and, in so doing, are creating the foundation for a more peaceful future. And in Cambodia, an app takes people to the scenes of the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge, making history tangible in everyday life.

Changes to the environment can also threaten security. Coffee farmers in Ecuador show us how to live in harmony with nature and work successfully. With their sustainable farming method, they are helping to preserve the rainforest.

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