Human security is a fairly recent concept. It was only at the end of the 20th century that it started to force its way and progressively move into the lexical repertoire of social sciences, especially juridical sciences. The term, however, has also an established strategic dimension. Its establishment was then slow but gradual, following a process of maturation. In fact, akin to goods and services, ideas circulate according to a sociological process of propagation. We are more or less operating within the logic of the international circulation of ideas. Yet, when it is a matter of characterizing world space, "(...) contemporary theories of international relations oftentimes put emphasis on the capacity of some institutions, not State-controlled or inter-State, to set the rules of the game and determine the conditions under which the needs pertaining to matters of security, knowledge, production and credit are to be met"[1]. It is a matter of a paradigmatic change in relation to the concept of State. The epicenter is relative here. It is in some way out of place, for while traditionally we would consider individuals to be at the service of the State, at least from a collectivist or interventionist perspective, interest in the present time has rather been geared towards the human being, taken as a finality as well as a totality. Edgar Morin was right in situating the human being in light of complexity: biological, physical, social or cultural, insofar as he lays claim to the elaboration of an anthropological-social science that hinges on the science of nature[2]. Joël de Rosnay, in turn, coined the term "macroscope" so as to disengage a global vision that is capable of taking into account the "infinitely complex", such as it emerges from life and society[3

Introduction: human security, a cross-disciplinary issue

Human security is a fairly recent concept. It was only at the end of the 20th century that it started to force its way and progressively move into the lexical repertoire of social sciences, especially juridical sciences. The term, however, has also an established strategic dimension. Its establishment was then slow but gradual, following a process of maturation. In fact, akin to goods and services, ideas circulate according to a sociological process of propagation. We are more or less operating within the logic of the international circulation of ideas. Yet, when it is a matter of characterizing world space, "(...) contemporary theories of international relations oftentimes put emphasis on the capacity of some institutions, not State-controlled or inter-State, to set the rules of the game and determine the conditions under which the needs pertaining to matters of security, knowledge, production and credit are to be met"[1].  It is a matter of a paradigmatic change in relation to the concept of State. The epicenter is relative here. It is in some way out of place, for while traditionally we would consider individuals to be at the service of the State, at least from a collectivist or interventionist perspective, interest in the present time has rather been geared towards the human being, taken as a finality as well as a totality. Edgar Morin was right in situating the human being in light of complexity: biological, physical, social or cultural, insofar as he lays claim to the elaboration of an anthropological-social science that hinges on the science of nature[2]. Joël de Rosnay, in turn, coined the term "macroscope"  so as to disengage a global vision that is capable of taking into account the "infinitely complex", such as it emerges from life and society[3].

Yet, the concept of human security is a complex term, for it is the sum of several securities. It is a notion in the process of "juridicization", insofar as it progressively reaches positivity. The international juridical texts that concern it multiply, and international organizations, ranging from the Organization of the United Nations (UN) to many others take it as their own. Indeed, it is because planetary stakes have changed, and challenges have multiplied, that the concept of security ought to be considered from the viewpoint of totality and globalism. Relying on the sociological method in the systematic observation of international facts, Marcel Merle, maintains that the international space is henceforth closed. He argues that the [4] concept of system, better than others such as that of "international society" or "international relations", is capable of making us aware of the complexity, and thus unity, of international space[5]. This agrees with an idea that was advanced long time ago by Georges Scelle, according to which the individual is the true subject of international relations.

The juridical and political implications of such an assertion are quite considerable. Thus, universal competence, beyond the polemical and no less polysemous, even ambivalent, character of the notion follows from the concept of humanity, one and indivisible. However, it is appropriate to note that concepts such as these strike a two-fold chord, considering the double load that they vehicle, a political weight and a juridical dimension. Universalist authors such as René-Jean Dupuy corroborate this conception in that they believe in the profound unity of the human species. Structuralism partakes therein. This school of thought, one of the main figureheads of which is Claude Levi Strauss, resists watertight compartmenting, diachrony and the atomization of social facts, no matter what their nature may be, political, psychoanalytical or linguistic[6].

Within an anthropological perspective, and under different fabricated stories, the same myths recur from one part of the planet to another[7]. Fabrications such as these are in fact part of the structure of spirit; caught between identity and kinship, men, differences apart, "regain the platform where similarities are to be found"[8]. Consequently, it is advisable to manage, so to say, humanity and therefore to create a minimum of common concepts. Michel Virally thought he had found this in "the world Organization"[9] of which human security is, more or less, the pendentive or the continuum. It is the result of the interdependence of those elements that constitute the international community. The mutation of state sovereignty towards the international community, coupled with the similarity in interest of all peoples and humanity, the emergence of the individual as a subject of international law, as well as the eruption of the concept of the common Patrimony of humanity, are all expressions of the emergence of the concept of humanity and its practical translation into human security[10]. On the theoretical level, to assert that human rights are universal, that they are indivisible and interdependent consequently leads to the fact that security can only be total; that is, "human".

Today then, the international strategy for development claims to be systematic. More particularly, as concerns the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were proclaimed by the United Nations in September 2000, the vision underpinning these is itself global and integrated[11]. It is based on the idea according to which the eradication of poverty and the fight against illiteracy as well as pandemic disease, can only be achieved if man is involved in the thick of development, and only when he becomes both the means to and the target of development, wherefrom some methodological, organizational as well as institutional consequences arise: a community-based approach, a gender-based approach, institutional coordination, inclusion, accountability or public-private partnerships.

Within this perspective, Morocco, in pinning its strategy for national development on the most elaborate international paradigms and tools, has in the last few years made some quite important qualitative leaps. Let us recall, as an example, that from now on the gender-based approach is streamlined into public policies through the Finance Act, or that quotas specifically reserved for the disabled are provided for in recruitment tests within the public service. In addition, Morocco has centered its strategy for combating illiteracy on the MDGs so as to benefit from the effects of synergy that are likely to derive there-from.

Such are many of the indicators that apprise of the internal deep changes that the Moroccan State is witnessing, intent as it is to join together, in concept and tool alike, the new paradigms of development as well as the strategies relevant in this direction. Thus the concept of human development, as everyone knows, has become an imperative duty in Morocco. Also, it is true that the work undertaken in cooperation with specialized international institutions such the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has certainly been fruitful. One cannot however ignore the Royal ambition that consists of bridging the gap of social disparity and, by the same gesture, placing Morocco within "socio-human" modernity, if one may coin such a neologism. The National Initiative for Human Development (INDH) is devoted thereto. But it is a process that proves to be, as everyone sees fit, complex, slow and structuring in terms of its approach as well as its application. The national Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have performed a quite important role in the area of fostering the sensitization and initiation of several fields of action (BAYTI Association, the Moroccan Association for the Fight Against AIDS, etc.).

Starting from these considerations, and learning from the lessons of the past, Morocco decided to regionalize the process of development by bestowing upon the local operators of development more empowerment, as well as the appropriation of the "chains of development", which were set going in accordance with a systematic pattern of development. Within this perspective, one could cite the actions led by the Migrations and Developments Association, in partnership with the public as well as private operators[12]. That we should call this a process of subsidiarity, of decentralization or relocation, what imports more is the fact that it is working in every which way, including in the provinces of the Moroccan South. The Royal speech of 6 November 2008 on the occasion of the Green March, comes in precisely to underline the unshakeable will that Morocco has towards putting in place a more advanced regionalization, one that is based on enlightened territorial governance and the management of community-based issues, all in perfect harmony with the new international strategies of development.

More specifically, the Moroccan Project for Autonomy in the Sahara is inspired therefrom. It is today a matter of giving it a concrete content, implementing it in homoeopathic doses, activating its provisions, as well as involving the local population in its accomplishment. This project, as we will demonstrate later, hinges directly or indirectly, around the Millennium Development Goals. Human security, as a systemic and organizing principle, allows for the employment of an interface between the Moroccan Project of Autonomy and the Millennium Development Goals. The present contribution will then seek to demonstrate the meeting points between the two approaches.

We will first start with defining the concept of human security (I) only to inquire later about its implications (II), its manifestations as well as its links with the Moroccan Project of Autonomy and the Millennium Development Goals (III), in order to finally disengage an operational synthesis in the form of inquiries and perspectives (IV).

I.   Human security: a global concept

Gone are the days when we would conceive of development as a partial and fragmented process. The compartmenting of development is no longer admitted when we know that human reality is complex. We therefore adhere to a structuralist, systemic and holistic perspective, just as for security. The latter is no longer considered within a strictly material, quantitative, logistical or military viewpoint, but is rather apprehended from a qualitative, operational and global angle. The challenges of the 21st century are so global, so diffuse and planetary that a systematic and interdependent vision proves to be mandatory. These are sufficiently powerful arguments which have convinced the international scientific community, taken over by several other institutions, to forge organizing concepts that can translate the new international realities. Thus, for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to have militarily intervened in Kosovo, back in 1999, it was, among other, in the name of the defense of human security. The doctrine of human security has implications of a political and strategic order. It is not fortuitous that its first applications were the outcome of NATO itself[13]. The Atlantic Organization, which was created right in the thick of the Cold War in 1949, redefined its missions and recentered them, among other, on the very concept of global human security, which is in a better position to integrate new preventive and corrective approaches, such as the fight against terrorism. It transfigured into an organization with a political character, devoted to the fight against the new perils, without any geographical circumscription[14] whatsoever. One then perceives the interest as well as operational usefulness of the concept of human security. On the academic level, the current studies on security are characterized by a greater degree of conceptualization[15].Indeed, the concept of security has been subject to some quite considerable extension, which makes it practically impossible to delimit. Hence, "in placing human beings and communities on the same level as States, in turning non-military stakes into a dimension as important as military conditions, and in developing goals in connection with positive peace rather than with the sole negative peace, security calls for new methods"[16]. It was the Canadians who proposed and propagated the concept of human security along the same terms as that of the responsibility to protect[17].

The threats that weigh upon international security are not exclusively of a military nature. That was the observation made in 1992 by the former UN Secretary-General, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, in a document on a Programme for Peace. In this document, it is emphasized that the degradation of the ozone layer has more dramatic consequences than an armed conflict. The environmental crisis, poverty, hunger and oppression are, from this perspective, causes as well as consequences of conflicts. Essentially, the MDGs hinge on this particular vision. Morocco was to understand this; it has not only subscribed to the MDGs, but it is a fact that their implementation is potentially possible through the Project of Autonomy, the latter being arranged around the issue of development, in addition to the liberation of cultural potential and economic take-off.

At heart, human security privileges the security of individuals themselves, as well as that of communities, over the interests of the States. It seeks to contain the new perils known to be associated with the propagation of diffuse violence. Methodologically, human security, as an operational concept, "squares together human rights and human development"[18].  It no longer emanates from the field of soft power as much as from hard power, the latter having proven to be limited in Afghanistan and in Iraq following the American intervention in these two countries, which were then taxed to be major homes to terrorism, and considered as "Rogue States"[19].

At the level of content, the concept of human security is quite thick. It was the Report of 1994 by UNDP that introduced, for the first time ever, the concept of human security. A composite notion, human security was then available in seven interdependent elements: economic security, food security, health security, ecological security, personal security, community security and political security. In a more synthetic manner, human security subsumes two intertwined major elements: security and development.

II.  Considerable implications: universal competence and the responsibility to protect

The world counts several homes of tension and instability. Formerly, the international community would stage collective actions of security under the aegis of the United Nations with a view to guaranteeing the security of the States. More and more, attention has been focalized on the security of individuals and social groups. In other words, the expansion of security concerns will henceforth encompass events internal to a particular State as well as the conflicts opposing States themselves.

Universal competence, global justice or international criminal justice are some of the many expressions that point to a considerable development of international juridical doctrine. The consequences that derive therefrom are quite important. In fact, to assert that human rights are universal, that they are interdependent and indivisible, is to highlight the indivisible character of humanity at large. Everyone is then called upon to defend its dignity. Of course, the doctrine is now far from achieving unanimity. We know that it has a political connotation, a double-trigger arm. This is why some countries have in their legislations provided for laws with a universal range. We could mention here Belgium and Spain. Certainly, the issue of the extra-territoriality of the laws with a universal competence is in order here. But facts speak for themselves. On the multilateral level, the International Criminal Court (ICC), whose founding statute was established in Rome in 1998, is the very epitome of universal criminal justice.

The responsibility to protect, in turn, is one of the consequences of the assertion of the concept of human security. It is true that this responsibility that was advanced by the advocators of the universal and interdependent conception of human rights, has not been endorsed, in view of the reluctance shown by States as well as their attachment to the classical criteria of non-intervention and sovereignty. The struggle then is far from being won by the partisans of the responsibility to protect. However, in the present time, there exists as of yet no conventional legal framework pertaining to this responsibility. The axial reference, in case of a danger to international peace and security, remains to be the United Nations Charter, which addresses issues of aggression and proclaims the principle of non-intervention in local affairs. Yet, the responsibility to protect does not quite fit with the principle of non-intervention, and the same applies indeed to humanitarian international law. In this respect, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan, laid emphasis in the report related to the reform of the UN on: "(...) we will not enjoy development without security, we will not enjoy security without development, and we will not enjoy either without respect for human rights (...)"[20].

Aware of the necessity to place its action within the framework of the international humanitarian system, the Moroccan Government created in November 2008 a Commission on humanitarian law with an advisory mission. A creation such as this will certainly have juridical repercussions. Morocco in fact will have to set in motion a revision of its judiciary system by putting in place Human rights' courts of law. The experience of the Equity and Reconciliation Commission (IER) and that of the Advisory Council on Human Rights (CCDH) is quite edifying. Thereafter came the ratification by Morocco of the Statute of the International Criminal Court. Evolution seems to be irreversible.

We have already had the opportunity to write a number of articles, under these same columns, on the responsibility to protect as an operational concept[21]. It is a matter of a notion that lies at the heart of the "duty of humanitarian intervention"[22]. It thus circumvents the classical notions of sovereignty and territoriality. Two fundamental principles guide its action. The first one concerns the sovereignty of State, for it is the primary task of the latter to protect its people. The second principle pertains to subsidiarity: when the State is weak, and is no longer in a position to secure an adequate protection for its population, the international community must act in order to protect a population in danger.

The responsibility to protect draws its foundation from several reference texts, from Article 24 of the UN Charter. This article entrusts in fact the Security Council with the responsibility to maintain international peace and security. The international texts related to Human rights, humanitarian international law, national legislations as well as international practice equally constitute a foundation to the responsibility to protect. The latter comprises three specific obligations: the responsibility to prevent, the responsibility to react and the responsibility to reconstruct. Obviously, there should be "a threshold of a just cause" in order that the responsibility for protection be activated as an after-effect of human protection[23].

Indeed, universal competence and the responsibility to protect are the two faces of the same coin. Their ultimate aim is to secure an effective protection to the populations living in the state of jeopardy. Placed at the head of the international strategy of development, and falling under the triptych development, security and human rights for all, human security aims in the last instance at uprooting conflicts[24].

The persistence of the Sahara conflict could represent a ferment for indescribable human suffering, one that is not only intolerable for the international community, but able to go as far as "thresholds of a just cause". Is not a solution towards exiting the crisis, one that pivots around a larger and more substantial autonomy in the Sahara Provinces under Moroccan sovereignty such as to secure, with all the legal imagined guarantees, human security and put an end to many years of suffering and exile?

III.   Fusion and symbiosis: converging strategies

The signpost is set up by Point 11 of the Moroccan Autonomy Plan: "The Moroccan Autonomy Project draws inspiration from the relevant proposals of the United Nations Organization, and from the constitutional provisions in force in countries that are geographically and culturally close to Morocco. It is based on internationally recognized norms and standards". The stage, so to say, is set: the Autonomy Plan is an element of international law, incarnated by the basic and subsequent texts of the UN. The specific is part of the universal, the dialectic being affirmed and the symbiosis an established fact. Morocco is determined to incorporate its action into the new logic of international law, which is more and more oriented towards the rights of solidarity such as the right to development, sustainable development, the reduction of the digital gap, and the regulation of climate changes. Undoubtedly, the Moroccan Autonomy Plan will serve as a framework for the application of the MDGs. The national strategy of development, henceforward decennial, converges quite well with the international strategies of the same type, at the head of which are the MDGs, which have now become the topmost priority of the international community.

Eight (8) goals are set by 2015. They fall under eighteen (18) targets:

  • "Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger".
  • "Achieve universal primary education".
  • "Promote gender equality and empower women".
  • "Reduce child mortality".
  • "Improve maternal health".
  • "Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases".
  • "Ensure environmental sustainability".
  • "Develop a global partnership for development".

Morocco actively collaborates with the UNDP towards the achievement of the MDGs. A number of tangible results have thus been accomplished. It is true that Morocco, as far as the Human Development Index is concerned, is in a rank that does not reflect its true potential of human development. The fact is that ever since the accession by King Mohammed VI to the throne, the social dimension of public policies has been erected as an absolute priority. The governance of social affairs in Morocco is the duty not only of the institutions of the central Government, but also of territorial authorities, Royal foundations (Mohammed VI Solidarity Foundation) or NGOs, the ultimate end being to bridge social gaps, eradicate poverty, fight vulnerability and exclusion and, in general, free human potential and mobilize energies.

Also, the fundamental values upon which the international relations of the 21st century rest inspire public policies in Morocco, policies that are in line with international standards. Yet, is it necessary to recall that the Moroccan Autonomy Plan is, in terms of its conception, in conformity with international standards? The spirit of the UN Millennium Declaration inhabits, in some way, the Plan[25]. Its values and principles are interdependent: freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, respect for nature and the sharing out of responsibilities. They aspire to offer "a safer world" to all[26].

IV.  Synthesis and perspectives

Fighting poverty is a commitment that the international community has undertaken through the MDGs. Morocco is an integral part of it, and its strategy of development offers to be prospective and proactive. Here have these two working dynamics, international and national, been captured by the Moroccan Project of Autonomy in the Sahara, which definitively  claims to be a piloting instrument for the MDGs, and a lever for the construction of peace. Such a regionalization-autonomization of the process of development will confer upon the Moroccan territories of the South the possibility to speed up their global take-off by freeing their human potential. Moreover, Morocco, considering its experience, will be able to contribute to the propagation, at the sub-Saharan level, of good practices on matters pertaining to the implementation of the MDGs.

The train of development has thus been set on track, and will undoubtedly not wait for the late-comers and the recalcitrant. Indeed, at a time when the international community calls for the mobilization and the rallying of forces and energies in order to face the new challenges and stakes of the 21st century and, beyond that, the challenges that have turned out to be more important than contingent problems, which arise following accidents of history. What is the use of sticking to classical outdated credos, such as the literal application of the principle of self-determination, whereas the common construction of the future of the coming generations, in the name of sustainable development and human security, is much more important? Is it really necessary to point out that the human species is one, and that the notion of border is fictive in the times of the rights to solidarity? The climate challenges, as much as the human challenges, know of no borders. It is on this basis that a prospective system, one that is founded on the concept of human security to be guaranteed in Morocco and beyond, has to be created.

 

 


[1] François DENORD, « Le prophète, le pèlerin et le missionnaire. La circulation internationale du néo-libéralisme et ses acteurs », Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, N° 145, 2002/5, p. 9.

[2] See, inter alia, Edgar MORIN, « La méthode. 1. La nature de la nature », Editions du Seuil, Collection « Points Essais », Paris, 1977, p.9.

[3] Joël de ROSNAY, « le macroscope. Vers une vision globale », Editions Le Seuil, Coll. « Points Essais », Paris, 1975, p.9.

 

[5] Marcel MERLE, « Le système mondial : réalité et crise » in Politique étrangère, N° 2006/4, p. 803.

[6] For a systematic presentation, see Jean PIAGET, « Le structuralisme ». Editions Presses Universitaires de France (PUF). Collection « Que-sais-je ? », Paris, 1992, p. 6.

[7] Such is the major conclusion drawn by Claude Lévi-Strauss in « Les Structures élémentaires de la parenté ». Editions Mouton De Gruyter, 2002.

[8] René-Jean DUPUY, « Les ambiguïtés de l'universalisme » in « Le droit international au service de la paix, de la justice et du développement ». Mélanges Michel VIRALLY. Editions A. Pedone, Paris, 1991, p. 279.

[9] Cf. Michel VIRALLY, « L'organisation mondiale». Editions Armand Colin. Collection « U », Paris, 1972, 587 pages.

[10]  Cf. Jacques BASSO, « Le Patrimoine de l'Humanité », in « René-Jean DUPUY. Une œuvre au service de l'humanité », publications of the UNESCO, Paris, 1999, p. 105.

[11] Cf. The Declaration of the Millennium, Resolution 55/2 adopted by the UN General Assembly on 13 September 2000.

[12] Cf. Migrations et Développements, Report « Evaluation et Capitalisation des Initiatives Locales (ECIL) », Taroudant, Morocco, 2000, 276 pages.

[13] Cf. Jean-François GUILHAUDIS, « Séparation, sécession et sécurité humaine ». Arès, N° 47, volume XIX, fascicule 1, April 2001, p. 33.

[14] For a more systematic analysis, see Jean FRANÇOIS-PONCET, Jean-Guy BRANGER and  André ROUVIERE, « Les enjeux de l'évolution de l'OTAN ». Information Report of the French Senate, N° 405 (2006-2007), 19 July 2007, Paris, 85 pages in PDF format.

[15] Cf. Roland ADJOVI, reading notes on « Théories de la sécurité. Définitions, approches et concepts de la sécurité internationale », Paris, Montchrestien, 2002, 160 pages, Coll. « Clefs », in « Actualité et Droit international ». Review of the Legal Analysis of International News, February 2003. Available on the web-site: www.ridi.org/adi. Last visit: 7 November 2008.

[16] Charles-Philippe DAVID and Jean-Jacques ROCHE, « Théories de la sécurité »ibid., p. 111.

[17] Cf. the works of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (Canada). Let us recall that this Commission was put in place following the Millennium Summit of September 2000.

[18] Cf. Mary KALDOR, a text translated from English by Sonia MARCOUX, « La sécurité humaine : un concept pertinent ?» in Politique étrangère, N° XXXX, 2006/4, p. 902.

[19] Of course, we know that these qualifiers have served the American administration as alibis to militarily strike these two countries, which are now in the mire of a profound chaos. This intervention plunged the United States in a real « political wreck ». William BLUM, « L'Etat voyou », Cérès Editions/Tarik Editions, Tunis/Casablanca, 2002, p. 25.

[20] "In larger freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all", Report of the Secretary-General, General Assembly of the United Nations, A/59/2005, March 2005, p. 6.

[21] Cf. Zakaria ABOUDDAHAB, « Le Polisario en déliquescence et la responsabilité de protéger une population en péril », in La Lettre du Sud Marocain (special issue), International Studies Center, December 2007, pp.       33-36.

[22] For a more systematic presentation, see « La responsabilité de protéger/The responsibility to protect». Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS), published by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Ottawa, December 2001, 116 pages.

[23] This is the case for example of considerable losses in human lives or an effective or presumed genocide.

[24] Such is indeed the sub-title of the Report related to the reform of the UN, as presented by the former UN Secretary-General , Mr. Kofi ANNAN, in March 2005, before the General Assembly: In larger freedomop. cit., 72 pages.

[25] Cf. The Millennium Declaration, op.cit.

[26] « Un monde plus sûr : notre affaire à tous ». Report by a high-ranking group of personalities on threats, challenges and change, General Assembly of the United Nations A/59/565, 2 December 2004, 109 pages.

Zakaria Abouddahab
Professor at the faculty of law, Rabat-Agdal

02/10/2012