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date: 27 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the role of the United Nations in developing, promoting, and enforcing norms within three broad understandings of human security: basic human rights; rights for those affected by violent conflict (‘freedom from fear’); and, rights for those experiencing severe hardship (‘freedom from want’). After reviewing key theoretical challenges, this chapter details the UN’s achievements within these three overlapping understandings, illustrating its contribution to furthering individual security. The UN has given meaning to the idea that state sovereignty should be limited and that, in some circumstances, individual rights should trump state interests. Despite the UN’s substantial human security accomplishments, this chapter recognizes the major challenges for the full realization of these ideals.

Keywords: human security, human rights, freedom from fear, freedom from want, security, sovereignty

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