UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
New Dimensions of Human Security
Fifty years ago, Albert Einstein summed up the discovery of atomic energy with characteristic simplicity: "Everything changed." He went on to predict: "We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive." Although nuclear explosions devastated Nagasaki and Hiroshima, humankind has survived its first critical test of preventing worldwide nuclear devastation. But five decades later, we need another profound transition in thinking--from nuclear security to human security.
The concept of security has for too long been interpreted narrowly: as security of territory from external aggression, or as protection of national interests in foreign policy, or as global security from the threat of a nuclear holocaust. It has been related more to nation-states than to people. The superpowers were locked in an ideological struggle--fighting a cold war all over the world. The developing nations, having won their independence only recently, were sensitive to any real or perceived threats to their fragile national identities. Forgotten were the legitimate concerns of ordinary people who sought security in their daily lives. For many of them, security symbolized protection from the threat of disease, hunger, unemployment, crime, social conflict, political repression, and environmental hazards.____________________