Coming Sunday the 21st September will be the International Day of Peace. Since last year the world has become less peaceful again – see the Global Peace Index 2014 – and developments in places like Ukraine, Syria and Libya do not make one optimistic for the coming years. Central to many of these challenges seems to be the continues focus on security as something that can only be gained and defended with guns. That is why for the International Day of Peace 2014 we are asking to make people’s security a priority, to put Human Security First!

Security, human rights and development are all linked. Development projects do not stand a chance when violence and armed conflict destroy all progress that is made. While traditional, state-centred security policies that pursue stability through defensive military approaches cannot secure long-term peace either. Only through a holistic, multi-layered, human security approach that focuses on people can peace and development be realised.

Human security upholds the right of all people to live in freedom and dignity, free from poverty and despair, reflecting three central pillars: Freedom from Fear, Freedom from Want and Freedom from Indignity.

Human Security First is a campaign of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) and PAX. Together we hope to raise awareness of the importance of Human Security, so that eventually it will be the natural starting point of all policies of the UN, governments and civil society organisations, including in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

For the International Day of Peace 2014 many GPPAC members will be hosting different events in their countries, and will include a focus on human security. They will be showing and collecting videos from people around the world explaining why they need human security, as a means to discuss what kind of security we truly need. They will also be collecting photographs of people who support the Human Security First campaign. These photographs will be displayed at an event in New York in October of this year.

If you want to learn more about the campaign, watch one of the videos or become involved yourself, check out our website

Human security is putting people’s safety, well-being and political inclusion first, in any given context.  It builds the foundation upon which both sustainable peace and sustainable development can be achieved, and without which, neither can be achieved. Human Security First wants security for all people. So that maybe next year for the International Day of Peace we can celebrate the world actually becoming more peaceful.