Friday, 27 May 2011

DECLARATION on Implementation of the Human Security concept in the Balkan region

Brioni Island, Croatia.

1.Declaration and Appeal by the Participants
We the participants in the Sixth ECPD International conference on National and inter-ethnic reconciliation, inter-religious tolerance and human security, representatives from the fields of education, science, law, diplomacy, politics, religions and like minded goodwill friends of the Balkans, appeal to political and religious leaders, decision makers and opinion makers from this our Balkan Forum, to embrace, promote and implement the principles of human security in the Balkans. We stress the fundamental importance of mutual trust and our common interest in people centred security and emphasize the importance of the quality of ordinary life and living and the need for appropriate regional development. We firmly believe that a positive response will represent a significant symbolic act and signal a step forward, towards development with reconciliation, tolerance with enhanced stability and a more concrete promise for a sustainable peace. We also believe that momentum can be added by the good offices of UN Agencies and other international organizations and the reinforcing support of their respective leaders.

2.Concept of Human Security: History and Development
Human security was first introduced in the Human Development Report, UNDP 1994; as a concept it is comprehensive, complex, evolving, hotly debated in academia and gaining ground in Europe. Within the framework of “development”, primary emphasis has been placed on the protection and defense of the state and growth of the national economy; much less attention has been paid to the security of individuals. The imbalance reflects the multiple threats faced by the world, which when unleashed require a prepared and efficient response. It reflects prevailing economic interests and political philosophy as well as a misplaced but popular argument that such an emphasis is a natural state of affairs. More balanced development can result in greater safety and wellbeing of individuals with respect to economy, food, health, and environment. This is a major tenet in the concept of human security, which places the welfare of people and their vulnerabilities at the core of societal activities in the best traditions of public health; health is most crucial to human security.

In order to move the world towards a new dynamic equilibrium more beneficial to the needs of individual security, a reorientation in economic and political thinking is mandatory. Greater emphasis on individual security is an absolute necessity when states fail to fulfill their obligations and become a source of threat to their own populations. Practice of human security can identify gaps in the protection of individuals and provide tools to reduce or remove them. Human security bestows greater individual safety and wellbeing and is a guarantor of democracy and life with dignity. We therefore appeal to the Balkan leadership to join forces and support a shift in world thinking that will result in greater respect and security for individuals. We believe that promotion of human security, in the Balkans, and from the Balkans, will have a significant, symbolic, regional impact with influential European-wide, knock-on effects.

3.Analysis of Concept
The concept of human security was analyzed and elaborated upon in the final report Human Security Now [2003] of the Commission on Human Security, chaired by Sadako Ogata, former UN Commissioner of Human Rights and Amartya Sen Nobel laureate. Human Security Now presents an important approach and two key elements to human progress, first protection of individuals and second their empowerment. To resolve issues of human insecurity, protect people, their basic rights and their multiple freedoms necessitates development of processes and institutional capacity in a systematic not makeshift way, comprehensive not fragmented, preventive not reactive. Empowerment confers an ability on people to act on their own behalf and/or on the behalf of others [altruism is still alive]; it releases the potential of individuals within communities to help better protect themselves, scrutinize social arrangements, take collective actions, exercise choice and avoid risks. In the face of threat, the coping potential of empowered people is better mobilized; they demand respect when dignity is violated. Human security enables people to enjoy the two freedoms, freedom from fear and freedom from want. Education and dissemination of accurate information is enormously supportive to the overall process.

Concrete facilitating modalities include a bottom up approach to meet and deal with real needs on the ground, a comprehensive and multi-sectoral approach that address various and closely interrelated threats and a collective participatory approach that promotes cooperation and coordination among various stakeholders, local government, international organizations, NGOs, and civil society. We appeal to all these entities to encourage and strengthen human potential and generally promote a sustained Balkan dialogue on these issues.

4.Human Security and the International Community
The Human Security Network is an informal group of countries initiated by Canada and Norway [1998] that encourages resolution of international issues and maintains a dialogue on human security at the level of Foreign Ministers. By applying a human security perspective to international issues, the Network aims to energize political processes with a purpose to prevent conflict, solve them should they arise and generally promote peace and development, thus echoing the mission of the European Center for Peace and Development, Belgrade in the Balkans.

The World Summit [New York, 2005] report and more specifically the World Summit Outcome Document, contains the following paragraph: We stress the right of people to live in freedom and dignity, free from poverty and despair. We recognize that all individuals, in particular the vulnerable people, are entitled to freedom from fear and freedom from want, with an equal opportunity to enjoy all their rights and fully develop their human potential. To this end, we commit ourselves to discussing and defining the notion of human security in the General Assembly. What followed was that a group of country representatives in New York established, Friends of Human Security to promote the concept in 2006. One outcome of the third meeting was a thematic debate on human security held during the United Nations General Assembly, 2008. The sixth and latest meeting in 2009 marked up a great success, with 93 countries and 20 organizations represented. The Human Security Network and Friends of Human Security now cooperate in the promotion of human security within the international community. Corporation has contributed to remarkable progress in the promotion of the concept. It includes a report on human security of the UN Secretary-General, the first formal debate on human security and a resolution on human security at the UN General Assembly.

It is an important agenda item of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and of the European Union while a fairly large number of countries are included in the Human Security Network and many projects are underway in the OSCE region financed by the UN Trust Fund for Human Security. In this way, the human security concept has further evolved and is being applied by a larger number of countries and international organizations throughout the world and is now widely recognized as a worthy paradigm in the post cold war world and especially in the 21st century.

We believe that the time is ripe to implement human security in the Balkan region. We believe that this process can be accomplished only with the participation of the Balkan region leadership. From Brioni Island we urge that appropriate actions are now facilitated. Furthermore, new parameters for security will certainly emerge as the world moves towards a multicultural future of humanity and Balkans will have a significant global role.

5.Responsibility for and Implementation of Human Security in the Balkans
While the concept of human security is people centered [individual dignity and freedom from fear and from want], responsibility for its implementation lies in national authorities and the international community. This has enormous significance for the Balkans and should be promoted and developed as a far-reaching strategic goal, which each individual country should support. It has the potential to reengineer the structures that gave rise to estrangement, conflict and violence and to transform them to ensure that Balkan life is lived with dignity and that a shared vision for Balkan development emerges.

6.Human Security and the Balkans
The humanitarian tragedy and uncountable destruction that followed the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia resulted in great human suffering and grief [missing, killed] while stress and psychological impact [displaced, wounded, hurt] cannot be measured. Material damage from ethnic conflict, civil war and NATO bombing can only be guessed at. Today there are two million fewer inhabitants in the region than two decades ago. Consequently, reality may be better accounted for by virtual indicators, namely the number of unborn children, the quantity of goods never produced, land not cultivated, un-milked cows and lost competencies. [I am not yet born, protect me against those…who would destroy me]. Nowhere in Europe are the two goals: freedom from fear and freedom from want (poverty, deprivation) more vitally important [except perhaps in the 4th world of many large cities where cultures of fear are on the rise]. Implementation of human security is mandatory in the Balkans given its recent past and current needs.

Many problems led to conflict, particularly inter-ethnic and inter-confessional disputes that have not yet been resolved. Some have been aggravated and the peace restored is still fragile. However, positive trends can be discerned; the Ohrid Accords have gained ground in internal issue setting in the FYR of Macedonia; Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania have joined the European Union; Croatia and Albania are full members of NATO; Montenegro separated from Serbia peacefully, the recent UN resolution on Kosovo (2010) for dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo and there are more frequent meetings of Balkan leaders to discuss specific issues.However, several sensitive issues still threaten peace and stability. To this already unfavorable situation confounding factors of crime, corruption, human trafficking and drug trafficking have been added but they are overshadowed by the global financial and economic crisis.

These issues and more, make implementation of human security in the Balkans both a prerequisite as well as a prescription. Well designed, prompt and vigorous human security based actions are urgently required and deployed with the support of the regional leadership and the international community. Human security as a practical concept is being implemented in many countries in various parts of the world, why not then in the Balkans?

7.Obstacles and opportunities [opportunity outweighing obstacles]
Many obstacles hamper human security promotion and application and are still a threat to regional stability. They include the absence of a culture for peace, peace studies, and a cadre of well trained human resources with related competencies; barriers as a result of division, for example membership or not in the European Union; continued tensions between states and state entities, hatreds and animosities exacerbated by faltering reconciliation and tolerance, a scarcity of well designed interventions and projects for social growth, issues relating to refugees and internally displaced persons [social services, health care, education] as well as aftermath grief, emergent wrath and still drying tears with respect to missing people and the absence of restitution.

Irrespective of these obstacles, opportunity outweighs then and we appeal to all governments, with important, significant experience in the Human Security Network, to help secure additional financial support to implement appropriate projects in training for competence and capacity, for human security process development and for policy and strategy enactment. The governments of Slovenia and Greece are contributors to the UN Human Security Trust and have important experiences in the Human Security Network in securing support and implementing projects and to them we appeal, to take upon themselves a greater leadership role in the promotion and implementation of the practical attributes of human security to further the aims of development and a stable peace.

We appeal to the leadership of each and every Balkan country to facilitate implementation and the development of an energetic enabling action plan for human security. We make a special appeal to the governments of Greece and Slovenia. We appeal to the European Union and the greater international community, UN Agencies and their leaders to engage themselves more actively in the vigorous implementation of human security in the Balkans and to expedite the erasure of division; belonging or not to the European family.

8.From Keg to Cradle [Out of the Keg into the Cradle]
Implementation of human security in each and every Balkan country can help shift the still misplaced image further away from that of Europe’s powder keg towards one more commensurate with its rich diversity, multicultural background and special historical heritage as the cradle of European civilization, thus promoting its current aspirations for reconciliation, bridge building and peaceful coexistence. It is a Herculean task demanding the combined influence, efforts, experience and prestige of all regional stakeholders, people of goodwill, friends of the Balkans and the international community.

Prepared by Jeffrey Levett, National School of Public Health, Greece, based on draft document prepared by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the European Center for Peace and Development [ECPD], of the University for Peace established by the UN, Belgrade as well as comments, suggestions and ideas from Negoslav Ostojic, Tauno Kekale, Fotini Ro, Paskal Milo, Pozdrav Ruzni, Arthur Dahl, Valentin Yakushik, Andrey Dahkin, Don Wallace. Sponsored by the ECPD and the Japan Foundation and Tokyo Club Foundation, the Regional Government of Istria and the City of Pula.

No comments: