As Haq argued, the development of human beings themselves should be seen as the central purpose of development rather than economic growth which should be regarded just a means to improve human life and livelihoods. For a written summary and audio recordings of his remarks, please click here.
In his concluding remarks, GPAJ President Sukehiro Hasegawa made two points. First, the concept of “human security” was proposed by Mahbub ul Haq, who was a special adviser to UNDP’s Human Development Report Office in 1994. As Haq argued and several participants of the seminar reiterated, the development of human beings themselves should be seen as the central purpose of development rather than economic growth which should be regarded just a means to improve human life and livelihoods. Furthermore, human beings should address the holistic interdependent nature of the entire earth on which all living beings coexist. To that end, Haq proposed to create a “World Social Charter” and to establish a “Human Development (Economic) Security Council” in the United Nations. Secondly, Professor Hasegawa referred to the consequential meaning of “Anthropocene solutions” in response to “Anthropocene risks” and discussed the implications of the rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI), and the autonomous advancement of algorithm. The authoritarian states have already started to us them as the effective means of controlling the behavior and livelihood of its citizens, and even in liberal democracies, huge corporations could influence not only the preference of consumer citizens but also their lives.
Finally, Professor Hasegawa identified the nature of new threats to the future generation. These threats originate in human nature. The human beings are ingenious in achieving scientific inventions that can be creative or destructive. The nuclear power produced by human beings can make a leap forward in the advancement of society, but at the same time it can destroy human society. This source of threat to the Anthropocene is caused by human greed for power and wealth. He concluded his remarks by stating that it is important for Japan to promote the concept of “human security” to ensure the safety of people’s lives from such threats that human beings have in themselves.