RT121 - The Potential of Human Security Approaches for Peaceful Development: the Devil is in the Details?
Convened by Tamara Kool and Zina S. Nimeh (UNU-MERIT, the Netherlands) and Des Gasper (International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), the Netherlands)

25 years ago, Mahbub ul Haq captured world attention for the concept of human security in the UNDP’S 1994 Human Development Report. Through a human security lens, the interlinkages between various threats that contribute to increased vulnerability, poverty and conflict in society can be further explored. A human security approach enables also the uncovering of shared values that underlie any peaceful society. Yet, from a practitioner’s perspective, challenges remain in integrating a full human security lens into policy. Bringing together various actors, this roundtable will explore the potential and challenges of a human security perspective towards development grounded in peace and social justice.


Oscar Gomez  is an Assistant Professor at the College of Asia Pacific Studies, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University. His main interest is in global governance and human security practice, with special emphasis on humanitarian crises. He was a Research Fellow at JICA Research Institute for five years and, before that, a JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow at the Graduate School of Global Studies, Doshisha University. He co-wrote background papers for the UNDP’s Human Development Reports of 2014, 2016 and 2020. Recent publications include co-edited volumes on the humanitarian–development nexus (2018, Routledge) and human security norms in East Asia (2019, Palgrave).

Shyamika Jayasundara-Smits is an Assistant professor in Conflict and Peace Studies at The International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam , The Netherlands. Her research interests are in the intersections of violent conflicts and Development and on the topics under the broader themes of state building, post-war transitions, security sector reform and EU security and defence policy.

Rana Jawad is Associate Professor in Social Policy at the University of Bath and is founder/convener of the MENA social policy network (www.menasp.com), a knowledge sharing and capacity building platform.  Her Particular interests include: political and institutional analysis of social policy systems in MENA; social expenditure and coverage of welfare benefits; social care, social assistance and social insurance; civil society and religious social welfare; inequality; poverty.

Jonathan Rudy is a peace educator focusing on peacebuilding, conflict transformation, nonviolence, inter-faith dialogue and human security. He has 35 years' experience in 35 countries in Africa and Asia. See www.PeaceBuildingGlobal.com for more information.

Lucy Nusseibeh is founder and Chairperson of Middle East Nonviolence and Democracy (MEND) in East Jerusalem, pioneering promotion of awareness about the power of nonviolence. She was head of the Institute of Modern Media at Al-Quds University, has taught at Bir Zeit University, and was a Senior Research Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She presented on TEDx on nonviolence. She co-edited “Une Philosophie à l'Épreuve de Paix” (Mimesis 2016). Her recent publications include a chapter on "The Power of Media in Peacebuilding" ("Pathways to Peace", MIT 2014) and "Statelessness and Insecurity in the Occupied Palestinian Territory" (GPPAC 2014). She is a gender focal point, member of the Global Strategy Group and Chair of the Improving Practice Working Group at GPPAC., as well as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Nonviolent Peaceforce International (Geneva).