Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 12-1-2004


Part I of this article will explore some of the diverse theoretical and cultural roots of the human security concept set forth in the U.N. Charter, as well as the limited historical impact of the human security concept in global affairs since the United Nation's birth. Part II confronts the negative impact of the "War against Terrorism" on the war against poverty by linking recent developments in Iraq and the Great Lakes Region of Africa. Finally, Part III analyzes the international law arguments supporting a legal obligation to promote human security in the U.N. Charter, various human fights instruments, and the Geneva Conventions of 1949. The article ends with the conclusion that a commitment to human security is not merely linked philosophically and pragmatically to a strategic vision of peace and security; rather, an obligation to promote human security can be legally derived from the texts of international instruments themselves. In the final analysis, knitting aspirational, practical, and legal arguments together demonstrates most powerfully that establishing security in strategic terms is dependent upon protecting civil and political liberties and satisfying basic social and economic needs.

Publication Title

Denver Journal of International Law and Policy







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