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Friday, 24 February 2017

Human security, an alternative to armed security

Large turnout and great expectation at the book launch for “Construir un estat segur i en pau” (Building a Safe and Peaceful State), published by ICIP.

Estat de Pau
Estat de Pau

The book Building a Safe and Peaceful State: How to Approach Security and Defense in a New European State, by the State of Peace Seminar group, was publicly launched on Thursday 23 February, in an event at the Palau Robert in Barcelona, with the participation of ICIP president Xavier Masllorens, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Institutional Relations and Transparency, Raül Romeva, and one of the members of the State of Peace Seminar and author of the book, Martí Olivella.

The book, published by ICIP as part of the "Tools of Peace, Security and Justice" series, is a compilation of reflections made over the course of three years by a group of people from various organizations working in the field of peace. This group argues that states should deal with conflicts from a nonmilitary perspective and abandon defense as a traditional pillar of security. Thus, the authors indicate that there is an alternative to armed security, which is human security. In the words of Xavier Masllorens, this debate is the result of a triple ascertainment: "The most armed peoples of the last thirty centuries have never been the most secure; a conflict has never been permanently resolved through the use of arms; and the pursuit of maximum security leads to maximum insecurity."

For his part, Martí Olivella argued that "we need a more effective and intelligent security system" and he added that the nonmilitary perspective is an ethical option "because we do not accept violence as a way to resolve conflicts" and a strategic one "to take precautions and to avoid perpetuating conflict."

Finally, Minister Romeva suggested "putting new ideas on the table, without fear or prejudice" and noted that "the constitutional process will allow us to discuss security and defense without imposed taboos." The Minister also added that "we have an obligation to state that the traditional way of resolving conflicts has not worked. We must search for, think about and imagine ways and structures that allow us to see beyond traditional security."

The event was attended by about 120 people, including members of the ICIP Governing Board, like Manel Vila and David Minoves; State of Peace Seminar participants, like Pepe Beunza, Antoni Soler and Jordi Armadans; the ex-president of Parliament, Joan Rigol; former minister Joan Manuel Tresserras; and singer Núria Feliu.