Cheryl Seal
AIDS, Human Security and Failed States
Mon Apr 3, 2006 23:16

AIDS and Human security:

Bush and other fearmongering leaders make a lot of noise about the devastating impact of a hypothetical bird flu pandemic. But a flu pandemic, even the pandemic of 1918-1919, moves thru swiftly. Those who recover may recover fully and life goes on. When AIDS is the epidemic, it is a long, slow spiral into hell, and there is no recovery for those who are afflicted and those who depend upon them. The quality of daily life is forever lost. That is why AIDS is a bigger threat in developing nations than any rapid-moving flu pandemic. It epitomizes the opposite of what has been "officially" defined as "human security." Here is a definition of human security from: "Multiple security challenges in the 21th century: Human Security, failed states, and terrorism" by Jan Ruyssenaars, Novib-Oxfam International, 2004:

“Human security” as a concept was first introduced by UNDP in 1994. They then said: “Human security is the sense that people are free from worries, - not merely from the dread of a cataclysmic world event - , but primarely in their daily life…..” In their view human security was people-centred while being tuned to two different aspects.

It meant, first, safety from such chronic threats as hunger, disease and repression.
And second, it meant protection from sudden and hurtful disruption of patterns of daily life - whether in homes, in jobs, or in communities”
This then was summarised as ”freedom from fear, and freedom from want”. "

The paper goes on to show how loss of human security sets a nation on the road to becoming a failed state. This syndrome is well known, and even the CIA has produced research material on it. This being the case, it is interesting that international humanitarian aid from the US- especially funding for AIDS - is rountinely withheld or inadequate for nations with "exploitable resources," like Nigeria/Niger. It would seem that pushing a nation toward a "failed state" status is seen as "desirable" by the Bush administration - push 'em to their knees, then knock 'em down and just take what you want.

Main Page - Monday, 04/10/06

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