The Nature of Human Security
Human security became one of non traditional threats in international relations since the end of the Cold War. It was triggered by the failure of state to protect its people because many internal state crises had happened in world affairs. The crises took place such as horizontal conflicts, independence of new states, replacement of old colonial governances into new independent ones, and describing new leaderships to replace the colonial ones. The crises had caused the people to be internally displaced people (IDP) and refugees for long time to look for safer place to live.
The end of the Cold War was marked by the fall of Berlin Wall and the dissolution of Soviet Union. Then it was followed by the independence of new states in Africa, former Soviet Union, former Yugoslavia, and former Czech-Slovakia. The emerging of new independent states led to the need to describe the new leaderships to replace the old ones as well as the need of the people to build a new state. However the process of new nation building had not come smoothly because each of former states had not stayed in the similar goals.
At the same time, the different ethnic and religious background of the people that were forced to form a single state during the period of Cold War, has more power to describe the need to identify themselves as an independent entity. Long time hatred and rivalries among different ethnics, religious backgrounds, and political orientations had made the time bomb among the people to set up horizontal conflict.
The combination of weak new independence governments and long time rivalries among different background of the people had created no smooth relations between the state and the people. As a consequence, the state was failed to protect its people because state was fully occupied to describe the new leadership and failed to serve public services to the people, furthermore the state looked for international assistance to cope with it. The state was not able to bring prosperity, welfare, and security to the people. Since then the people has faced the problems of human security. The state was failed to provide public services to the people such as health, availability and accessibility of food, permanent housing, and freedom from fear.
Human security became a global problem because it spread all over the world. Human security has called for international, regional, and national attention to solve the problems. In the international level, the spread of human security problem has been shifted on different priorities. During the 1990s, human security was caused by internal conflicts, refugee influx, seeking new leadership, independence of new state, genocide, and ethnic cleansing. However after the 9/11, notably in 2000s, the human security issue was shifted into dealing with terrorism with the United State of America as the front liner.
Human security has spread globally not only by the politicians but also by international relations scholars by using their publications across the globe. The threat toward human being was no longer traditional ones such as war and colonialism but now it included non traditional ones such as lack of internal conflicts, lack of health facility, lack of food, and most notably the failure of the state to protect its people.
In the regional level, human security has spread into different regions in the globe. ASEAN, African Union, Middle East states, East Asian states included Japan has adopted human security into their foreign policy. Japan has put human security programme by establishing Official Development Assistance (ODA) such as loan aid, grant aid, and technical cooperation mostly toward developing countries in the field of providing funds, transferring technologies for social and economic growth, assistance for disaster relief, and mainly undertaken by the Government sector. Furthermore, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) advanced human security approach by its statement mission such as addressing the global agenda, reducing poverty through equitable growth, improving governance, and achieving human security.
Natural Disaster as Human Security Problem
The striking of huge natural disasters across the globe has become the wake up call that the human security problem was no longer based on horizontal conflicts, refugee influx, and other man-made disasters, but natural disaster became one of the major threats toward human security. There were three mega natural disasters that have to be notified recently. Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004 has caused eleven states suffered severely, cyclone Katrina in southern of USA in August 2005, and cyclone Nargis in Myanmar in 2008, had caused huge death tolls and human miseries. Natural disaster was no longer a gift from God but the inevitable situation that has to be solved recently.
As natural disaster was inevitable, there was concern on how to deal with human security particularly to deal with natural disaster. The approaches have been developed by the international organizations, regional development agents, and national government to set the programme on natural disaster management.
Natural disaster has caused vulnerability and poverty toward the victims and there was inter linkage among the three of them. First, poverty reduction programme could be used as an agent to reduce vulnerability of the people who live in the disaster prone areas. Second, the non sustainable poverty reduction programme has just become the source of the increasing of vulnerabilities of the people in the disaster prone areas. Third, natural disaster has caused the set back of poverty reduction programme therefore it increased the vulnerabilities of people in many aspects such as politics, economy, social, health, and food. Fourth, natural disaster has improved the poverty reduction programme by establishing sustainable development toward the vulnerable groups.
In the international level, the UN had established Yokohama Strategy on Guideline of Natural Disaster Prevention and Hyogo Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction to reduce the vulnerability of the people toward natural disasters. It was followed by the regional level to establish ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Centre to deal with natural disasters in the South East Asia region. In the national level, the Indonesian government has established National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) to cope with natural disaster in Indonesia.
As a state situated in the Ring of Fire, Indonesia is prone to volcanic eruptions, and the meeting point of three world plates (Asia, Eurasia, Indo-Australia), Indonesia is prone to tectonic earthquake and tsunami. The mismanagement of natural resources and ineffective urban planning had contributes to the flood in many cities. The mismanagement of land use planning has contributed to crop failure and furthermore lack of food for certain people.
As natural disaster has contributed to the human security problem, then the approach to deal with natural disaster has to include sustainable development because once the human development was interrupted then it affected any other parts of human development. The overall view of human security had had to be addressed mainly by the government so that the duty to protect the people could be done completely.