The 2030 Agenda emphasizes a “world free of poverty, hunger, disease and want … free of fear and violence … with equitable and universal access to quality education, health care and social protection … to safe drinking water and sanitation … where food is sufficient, safe, affordable and nutritious … where habitats are safe, resilient and sustainable … and where there is universal access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy”. 

It calls for development strategies that result in more resilient societies where people are safe from chronic threats such as ill health, abject poverty, hunger, disease, violence and repression, and protected from sudden and hurtful disruptions in their daily lives. 

Drawing on findings from a global report by PAHO/WHO and JCIE (an independent, nongovernmental research institute), the event will focus on concrete contributions of the human security approach towards health, resilience and the achievement of the SDGs, in particular those related to “ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages” (SDG3). 

SDG3 lies at the center of our ability to achieve the other sixteen goals. While diverse conditions of insecurity drive deterioration in health and wellbeing, the direct and indirect effects of poor health in turn undermine human security at the individual and community levels. As a particularly salient representation of the interconnected nature of these goals, SDG3 helps us to see the practical applications of the human security approach, as well as a path forward to achieving the ambitious and comprehensive SDG agenda, thereby serving as a useful entry point to developing a better understanding of the added value that the human security approach can offer. 

Based on case studies related to health programmes from around the world, as well as lessons learned from PAHO/WHO’s efforts to implement the findings of the report in several Latin American countries, the contribution of the human security approach to SDG3 and Agenda 2030 will be presented and followed by a discussion on how these lessons can be applied in other parts of the world, as well as in other fields.