The Lancet Global Health

“Fall down seven times, stand up eight.” This Japanese proverb encapsulates the many challenges on the road to achieving human security for all—life without want, without fear, and in dignity through the fulfilment of basic needs—and emphasizes the need for creativity, flexibility, and constant innovation to achieve this broad-ranging mandate. Such a creative focus on human security and people-centred development can help fast-track efforts to build healthy, resilient communities around the world.

Discussions on health and human security have evolved over many decades, with Japan leading conversations to shape the concept. Sadako Ogata—a prominent Japanese expert—co-chaired the groundbreaking 2001 UN Commission on Human Security with Nobel Prize Laureate Amartya Sen. The UN report urged the international community to secure a healthy future for individuals and communities and to build a strong foundation to confront new threats.

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