Advancing human security in Caux one pillar at a time

Just Governance for Human Security 2017

Just Governance for Human Security 2017


‘For anyone taking human security seriously, it’s a vital necessity to oppose and reject the inevitability of war,’ said Pierre Krähenbühl, Commissioner-General for UNRWA (the UN Relief and Works agency for Palestinian Refugees) at the opening of the fifth annual Just Governance for Human Security conference. ‘Without the recognition of individual pain, there is no healing,’ he continued. ‘There is no addressing the extremes, there is no diffusing the hatreds of tomorrow.’

Over five days, 250 participants from 55 countries convened at the Caux Palace in Caux, Switzerland, to address extremes of all kinds. They included diplomats, NGO representatives, business leaders, academics and citizens concerned with human security. The event took a holistic approach to human security, focusing on its six pillars: good governance, sustainable living, inclusive economics, care for refugees, healing memory and food security.

 ‘The only way to solve hate and violence is with compassion and empathy,’ said former white supremacist turned peace activist Christian Picciolini, one of the panellists in the plenary on the roots of extremism and violence. He described how he was recruited in 1987 by a white supremacist who gave him the ‘promise of a future, of something powerful when [he] was powerless’. His fellow panellists  –  Paul Turner, expert in Countering Violent Extremisms, former extremist Ziad (Fouad) Saab and Carol Mottet of the  Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs – agreed that collective action and dialogue are needed to fight violence and build resilience.

Participants had the opportunity to continue the discussion in dynamic workshops on such themes as food security, inclusive finance, refugees and environmental threats. People from different parts of Ukraine and Eastern Europe met in dialogue, as did Turks, Armenians and Kurds. Another dialogue focused on race and healing in Tulsa, USA and yet another on the ‘people’s money movement’. Training was offered on migrants and refugees as rebuilders, on negotiation approaches and on combating violent extremism.

Every morning, participants had the chance to hear the inspiring story of a courageous peacebuilder.  ‘We need to embrace this culture of forgiveness to break the cycle of violence’, said Rwandan singer-songwriter Jean Paul Samputu, as he told how he publicly forgave the man who had killed his family. Letlapa Mphahlele, former director of operations of the Azanian Peoples Liberation Army during apartheid in South Africa, reminded the audience that ‘the best gift a human being can give another human being is forgiveness’. American Shalisa Hayes described how, after losing her teenage son to gun violence, she founded the Billy Ray Shirley III Foundation, through which she  works to provide young people with opportunities and alternatives to violence.

2017 also saw the launch of humansecurityX, a parallel training course which offered an in-depth exploration of the six pillars of human security. As he handed out certificates to forty graduates from over fifteen countries, David Chikvaidze, Chef de Cabinet of the Director General at the UN Office at Geneva, said: ‘In the pursuit of human security, we as citizens, activists and leaders all have a role to play. This is why programmes such as the Caux Forum and humansecurityX are so important. They provide the knowledge, skills and cross-sectoral connections needed to fuel citizen engagement.’

As the event came to a close, participants took on a 90-day challenge to bring what they had learned in Caux back to their communities. One such initiative started on the last day of the conference, when 60 per cent of the conference participants pledged not to purchase any plastic for 30 days.


Featured Story

related stories

Caux Forum opening square website EN

Filling the gap in global efforts for peace and democracy

The Caux Forum 2023 Opening Ceremony set the tone for the conference with the theme, ‘Strengthening Democracy: The Journey from Trauma to Trust.’. Discover the report and relive the highlights of this...

Tsvetana 13 Sept 2023

Finding purpose and harmony through music and the Caux Palace

In a world filled with diverse cultures and languages, the journey of musician Tsvetana Petrushina is an inspiring tale of how she discovered her purpose. Her remarkable story led her to the Caux Pala...

Save the date 2023 square no date

Caux Forum 2023: Save the Date

We are excited to announce the Caux Forum will be back in Caux next summer! Find out more and save the date! ...

Arpan Yagnik

Arpan Yagnik: Mountains to climb

Arpan Yagnik, a participant of last year's Creative Leadership conference and team member of the IofC Hub 2021, talks to Mary Lean about creativity, fear and vocation. ...

YAP 2021 article square

Young Ambassadors Programme 2021: Learning to listen

When Indonesian law student Agustina Zahrotul Jannah discovered the Young Ambassadors Programme (YAP) on Google she felt both excited and hopeless: excited because she hoped it might give her the skil...

Zero waste square for social media

Sofia Syodorenko: A zero waste lifestyle is a mindful lifestyle

How did Sofia Syodorenko become involved in the zero waste movement, and what does it mean to her? Now Chair of Foundations for Freedom, she is also a representative of the Zero Waste Alliance Ukraine...

Patrick Magee 600x600

‘Where Grieving Begins – Building Bridges after the Brighton Bomb’: a live interview with Patrick Magee

The second in Tools for Changemakers’ series of Stories for Changemakers took place on 25 August 2021, with an interview with Patrick Magee, who planted a bomb at the Grand Hotel, Brighton, in 1984, w...

Summer Academy 2021 screenshot square

Forging a network of problem-solvers to build a secure and sustainable future

The Summer Academy on Climate, Land and Security 2021 brought together 29 participants from 20 countries. From Egypt and Senegal to the United States and Thailand, zoom windows opened for six hours ev...

Salima Mahamoudou 21 July 2021 FDFA workshop CDES 2021

Remaking a world in peril

The Caux Dialogue on Environment and Security (CDES) 2021 ran online from 20 July until 30 July, for the second consecutive year, comprising three open plenaries and seven workshops. This year’s discu...

CL 2021 Hope square

A Journey from Uncertainty to Possibility

2021’s Creative Leadership conference took participants on a six-day journey ‘From Uncertainty to Possibility’. Between 25 to 31 July around 150 online participants living in over 50 countries engaged...

FDFA Baobabcowherd-1 Noah Elhardt through WikiCommons square with logos

A pathway to peace and prosperity in West and Central Africa

In the context of their partnership, Initiatives of Change Switzerland (IofC) and the Peace and Human Rights division of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs organised a webinar on the them...

LPM report 2021 square

Peacemakers in the making

‘I am super happy to have been part of the Learning to be a Peacemaker course – we learned the true colours of Islam!’ wrote 18-year-old high-school graduate Nma Dahir, from Erbil, capital of the Kurd...

Choir Musical Stories

Musical Stories from Caux

‘What a magnificent presentation of stories and music’, commented one of the participants of the second in-person, by invitation, event of this year's Caux Forum Online which took place on 1 August 20...

ICBE 2021 square white background

Sustainable businesses needs purpose beyond profit

Corporations and industries need a purpose beyond profit, says Sunil Mathur, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Siemens in India and South Asia. ‘Companies’ purposes are critical,’ he explai...

Stephanie Buri and Nick Foster Opening Ceremony Caux Forum 2021

Opening Ceremony of the Caux Forum Online 2021: Swiss perspectives on peace

The Caux Forum Online 2021 opened on 5 July with a panel on ‘Swiss Perspectives on Peace – past, present and future’ to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Caux Conference and Seminar Centre as the ...