Human security and development

Date: 06 - 03 - 2023

Abu Dhabi

Source: Mufakiru Alemarat

Dr.. Ali Mohamed Al Khouri

Human security has become a fundamental pillar in the concepts of national security and sustainable development, bypassing the traditional perspective based on dealing unilaterally with the activities of the state, and moving to giving the human element greater attention based on its being a means and an end, and here the individual is seen as an essential component in building the security and development system And a criterion for determining the depth and comprehensiveness of national plans in different contexts.

Perhaps the growth and development of human societies, and the increasing severity and complexity of security and development challenges at the national and global levels, were among the reasons that made the concept of human security an issue that cannot be neglected. And I pushed it to expand in recent decades, and it includes everything that supports the dignity and security of the individual, and his ability to develop and grow, and it represents a pivotal dimension protected by international conventions.

The concept of human security crystallized

In historical reading, there was no specific concept of human security in ancient societies in which slavery, killing and enslavement prevailed, but it crystallized to become significant and linked to world peace in the seventeenth century, specifically since the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, which worked to achieve peace and balance in Europe, And it established an early foundation for the concept of the modern state.

The concepts and laws of international security remained intertwined with human security until the establishment of the League of Nations in 1920 after the First World War, which considered it an important axis for the promotion of peace, security and cooperation between states. Then the concept was associated with the civilized construction of nations and collective security with the establishment of the United Nations in 1945 after the Second World War, which subjected the concept to protection in international laws; Then the concept became more common in the nineties of the last century, and part of the global goals of sustainable development with the interest of international organizations in the human element as an active and influential individual in the security and development of the local and international communities.

Although definitions differ; The concept of human security has become linked and intersected with areas of various dimensions affecting food security, health security, economic security, environmental security, personal security, political security, cultural security, knowledge security, and social security. Although these associations are numerous and varied; The basic foundations of the concept of human security are based on considering the individual a pivotal part in dealing and finding solutions to security and development issues, policies, and problems.

international attention

It is clear that the issue of human security – as an international concept – is expanding and taking more space of political interest in the international system as a priority strategic issue. It will certainly be among the main mechanisms for protecting the human rights of individuals and societies in the world, and it will represent a basic unit upon which the foundations of international relations will be built, which will, of course, be governed by systems of public international law.

With Western countries seeking to consolidate such laws in societies around the world – which will create a ground for ensuring the rights of personal safety, human development, and the various economic, social and cultural rights of individuals -; This may mean the possibility of holding governments and states accountable, and exposing them to international accountability in the event that they do not adhere to such laws and standards, some of which may conflict with national cultures and identities.

But – on the other hand, and with reference to the essence of the local Arab contexts -؛ It is necessary to pay attention to the fact that development goals depend today on the two elements of political and economic stability, which will only be achieved on main pillars, including the priority of justice, the citizen’s feeling and belief in it and its existence, social cohesion under the umbrella of the nation, and its current and future goals.

This highlights the fact and objectivity that national solutions to confront security challenges and risks – whether at the local, regional, or international level – depend on the state’s ability to develop and protect the interests of the individual and civil society. This requires policy-makers and decision-makers to develop an accurate understanding of reality and expectations, and to focus on institutional reforms, legislation and laws that support the development and development of individuals, and support their capabilities and inclusion in advancing development and production.

Arab countries

There is no doubt that Arab countries vary in the extent to which they provide protection and empowerment mechanisms for their individuals and societies. However, as we see it, the countries that gave importance to human security in their plans, and were able to adapt them to their development models, were able to achieve real reforms and build competitive economic capabilities.

Here, the United Arab Emirates stands out for presenting a remarkable example in the arena of human security and the success of its investments in building the social component and involving it in achieving the national development goals. International indicators show the extent of the interdependence between the social component and development efforts. The UAE was able to rank twelfth in the world in the Global Competitiveness Report issued by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in 2022, and it ranked 26th in the world and was classified among the “very high human development” countries in the United Nations Development Program report issued in 2022. .

Since its establishment, the UAE has presented a unique model in considering the citizen the real wealth and the focus of its policies, and has worked to provide the highest levels of security and social security, by providing the necessary needs of housing and facilities, and focusing on developing the health, education and other service sectors. This model is evident in the interest of the UAE National Agenda in developing the intellectual structure of society members, and empowering their capabilities to support the national goals. This was accompanied by great efforts in strengthening executive mechanisms and adopting a wide range of legislative structures, legal and institutional frameworks. To ensure the rule of law, justice, security and safety, and to consolidate values ​​that call for respect for human dignity, integrity and transparency in justice and equality.

global transformations

In light of the accelerating global transformations, especially those driven by advanced technologies, and the uncertain economic and social scene in the Arab countries, it is no longer possible to separate the relationship of the individual and his status with the development of the state, and it requires policy-makers and decision-makers to adopt a different mentality to deal with the requirements of enhancing human security. In our Arab societies with two parts of needs and rights.

This mentality must first concern itself with providing the first necessities represented in the needs of housing, education and health, in conjunction with the implementation of economic and social programs that support the raising of the standard of living, and then finding mechanisms to ensure the inclusion of individuals in the completion of development plans and projects.

It is necessary that these efforts coincide with the creation of legislative and legal frameworks to protect the security and protection of individuals at all economic, health, societal, cultural, moral, and other levels, considering the individual as a basic unit, and the axis and goal of all public policies.

The time may be right for states to adopt the concept of human security as a policy of high priority adopted by governments within their strategic vision of national development. By making institutional work more empowerment-oriented; This means that governments make it a priority to support community institutions and the private sector, and enable them to play the role of the real backer of governments. In light of the high rates of unemployment and poverty in Arab societies – which are the biggest threats to economic and existential security, so to speak – it has become impossible for the government machine alone to pull the economic caravan that is no longer able to advance with its traditional wheels, or to provide solutions with a sustainable impact.