Summary: UN ASG Fabrizio Hochschild lecture


“Future of Human Security: Its Increased Importance in the Struggling World
 – from the United Nations Perspective”

by Mr. Hochschild, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Coordination


On 8 March, the Graduate Program on Human Security, the University of Tokyo, hosted a special lecture by the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Coordination, Mr. Fabrizio Hochschild.
He questioned if our generation could hope for a better world for the next generation while highlighting seven major challenges today: i) climate change, ii) growing inequality, iii) lack of clarity in  geopolitical power relations leading to  greater unpredictability, iv) increasing number and complexity of armed conflicts, v) global threat of terrorism, vi) reduction of space in human rights promotion and protection, and vii) uncertainty of frontier technology.
These threats are taking place simultaneously and are mutually reinforcing. For example, increasing inequality can push marginalized people to further alienation, give rise to nationalism and isolationalism, and create an opportunity for recruitment by extremist groups. The rise of terrorism comes with the absence of the rule of law and many terrorist-related activities operate in developing countries.
It is therefore important to have a comprehensive measure to address the root causes of terrorism. Technology advancement is moving at a speed that outstrips public scrutiny so much so that policy makers cannot keep up. When the internet was created, people hoped that it would make the world better, but such technology is also susceptible to new forms of manipulation in which it is used as a tool for warfare.

Currently, there is mistrust for multilateral organization including the UN. This is paradoxical, given the challenges that we are facing are transnational in nature, and require solutions through cooperation. The UN’s relevance is ever more vital.

The UN is under a major reform to make itself more effective, to tackle discrimination, to reduce bureaucracy, and to have better coherence in its approach. The emphasis of the reform is on prevention, anticipating crisis and building resilience.

On the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Mr Hochschild described them as a comprehensive tool in addressing contemporary issues. Japan has been leading  on the human security approach, which echoes the Secretary-General’s vision. Both concepts  focus on the most vulnerable people. By taking an integrated, needs-based and comprehensive approach, and by addressing the root causes of issues, human security can bring results.

(Unofficial summary by Haruka Mizobata and Ai Kihara-Hunt)


It was great to meet my former boss at the UN-Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Hope to have further cooperation in the near future.


For the coming generations

‘From the pen, there is a notebook.

From the notebook, there is a book.

From a book, there is a teacher.

From a teacher, there are generations.’

The line from a Syrian woman/girl in refuge was powerful.

What an enoumous courage those people have, to be providing incredibly powerful stories of their and their loved ones’ lives, in the public hearing!

And what a severe deprivation they are facing in Syria! And it continues after their move to a new place, if they manage to do so.

I believe in the power of education, in particular critical analysis and thinking. I hope to be one of such teachers who can make a slow but consistent contribution to the following generations.

HSP/SSJ seminar on Syria Crisis and International Law

HSP_SSJ Int'l-Seminar-Syria Flyer (EN) final-1

21 March 2018, 16:00-20:30 at the University of Tokyo

We, the Graduate Progam on Human Security at the Unversity of Tokyo, will be hosting a seminar on the Syria crisis and international law, jointly with Stand with Syria. We are inviting a former member of the Commission of Inquiry on Syria on the methodology and findings of the CoI. I will be speaking on what the CoI findings mean in international law, and the prospect of prosecution. This seminar is co-hosted by Human Rights Watch. I hope we can contribute to the awareness raising in Japan on the Syria Crisis.