A Caux Forum for Human Security?

(Introduction to the 2008 Conference Programme)

Mohamed Sahnoun

The end of the Cold War almost 20 years ago has not brought the peace and prosperity for which humanity yearns. Daunting challenges confront the 21st century, from economic under-development, bad governance and global warming to terrorism and cultural conflicts. Underlying these challenges is a deep human insecurity which is felt not only in the developing world. How do we understand this insecurity and how can we give content to the great aim of human security? How to articulate its foundations? How to give it practical expression? These are among the questions that motivate this first Caux Forum for Human Security.

To find a preventive strategy that could tackle the root causes of insecurity will require unprecedented trust and collaboration among all nations and actors. We need a truly global synergy that gives every person an opportunity to contribute to peace and human security. This conference will explore what it will take to create such synergy. The conference will begin with a diagnosis of the overall challenge, focusing on six inter-related areas of causality (see right column).

Our aim is to enhance humanity’s responses to the human insecurity that pervades our world. Something needs to be added to the efforts made by peace builders to bring peace and security to people living in war-torn areas. We need to encourage a healthy dialogue in an atmosphere where we can listen to and learn from each other, and hear from those with practical, grassroots experiences.

We gather as influential personalities from politics, civil society, the media and the world of thought in the search for a deeper diagnosis of the world’s ills, and to find greater trust and resources within ourselves and with one another. Perhaps at this Caux Forum we can discover the secret of 'changing ourselves to change the world', in order to make a world with more solidarity, with more love. We hope that Caux could become a precious resource for the world’s peace builders.

Mohamed Sahnoun

Founder and Chair, Caux Forum for Human Security
(Then) President, Initiatives of Change International


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