Background

The concept of security has evolved since the end of Cold War. The focuses and the actors of security are no longer state-centered. It has been broadened to include and center on the people, which has led to the emergence of a people- centered concept of human security. The term of human security it self was highly associated with the UNDP 1994 Human Development Report on Human Security that proposed the global agenda to ensure “freedom from want” and “freedom from fear” for all persons in the world. In addition, the objective of human security is to safeguard the vital core of all human lives from critical pervasive threats, in a way that is consistent with long-term human basic need fulfillment.

With this broadening concept, the issues considered as security issue are also widened. In the past, the security issue were just limited on the traditional issue that related with the ability of a state to protect its territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence from external threats that broadly define as the other state. Nowadays, the human related issues and threats from non-state actor such as terrorism, poverty, environment, diseases, energy scarcity, lack of education, trafficking, secessionist, people movement, disaster, etc that previously considered as just domestic problems or social issues have been included as security issues.

This modification of security concept have several impacts towards the management of security. The state with its sovereignty and as an actor that has the legitimacy to use force, still has the responsibility to ensure its own security. In addition, state also has the obligation to safeguard its people by making policies that focus on human needs. It is the limitations of the state that eventually allow the involvement of non-state actors. Most of them are set to play significant roles in promoting people’s rights in the society as well as empowering people through provision of knowledge and development of capacity.

Furthermore, the basic instrument for human security is not limited to the use of force and military-related approach, but also related with social, political, economic and development conditions. The mechanism should be based on cooperation, because the nature of human security is universal, different from traditional security that highlights the zero sum game mechanism. Therefore, the approach is also should be interrelated between safeguarding the people that implies the top to bottom approach in protecting the people and empowering that implies the bottom to top approach in developing people capabilities into their full potential.

With those unique characteristics of human security, collaborations between state actors and non-state stakeholders of security are highly needed. In doing so, there is a necessity for innovative thinking and discourse regarding efforts to improve human security fulfillment in specific issues. Based on those rationales, Parahyangan Centre for International Studies (PACIS) and International Relations Department of Universitas Katolik Parahyangan is conducting the first Biennial Academic Professional Gathering and International Conference titled “Human Security: Safeguarding and Empowering People“. The main objective of this event is to enhance the discourse and share innovative thinking about Human Security among scholars, practitioners, bureaucrats and civil society. It is also aimed to discuss potential future cooperation initiatives around human security related issues.