Today there are 36 armed conflicts raging in 28 countries, some of which began decades ago. Military responses to these situations have largely failed and, in many cases, have resulted in greater insecurity. The primary threats to individuals today do not stem from external military forces. Wars today are predominantly internal: civil wars caused by conditions of political instability, poverty and weak governance. Military force alone cannot solve these problems, nor can it build conditions of stability and security.
Security cannot be measured by the size of a nation’s army, but must be measured by the extent to which individuals are free from fear. Human Security goes beyond state and military approaches to defence, reminding us that people must be at the centre of security policy and planning. Such an approach to security includes consideration of democracy, development, disarmament and diplomacy, as well as defence.