U.S. and EU Hold 2nd Security and Development Dialogue
The United States and the European Union convened the second senior level Security and Development Dialogue (SDD) July 20 in Washington, D.C., to discuss a number of shared international priorities, including preventing and countering violent extremism, preventing conflict and atrocities, and promoting the rule of law. The SDD was chaired by Department of State Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Sarah Sewall and European External Action Service Deputy Secretary General Pedro Serrano, along with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Assistant Administrator David Harden, and EU Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO) Acting Director Jean-Louis Ville. At the 2014 U.S.-EU Summit, leaders reaffirmed that security and development are inextricably linked and committed to deepen the dialogue in order to frame and undertake complementary and mutually reinforcing action. The 2016 SDD serves to further operationalize that commitment.
Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism
The United States and EU shared key policy updates and experiences concerning our respective approaches to preventing and countering violent extremism (CVE) at the local, national, and regional levels by exchanging field analysis on specific geographical contexts, existing and future programming priorities, and examples of current U.S.-EU third country cooperation. These conversations reaffirmed the commitment of both the United States and European Union to advance effective approaches to preventing and countering violent extremism, including the critical role of development. The SDD also discussed deepening coordination on CVE in multilateral fora, and at the regional and national levels, including support for research and capacity-building. Other areas of discussion included the U.S. Counterterrorism Partnership Fund, the Hedayah Center of Excellence, the RESOLVE (Researching Solutions to Violent Extremism) Network, the EU’s Radicalisation Awareness Network, and the Strong Cities Network. Both partners reiterated their commitment to the protection of human rights in counter-terrorism assistance.
Conflict and Atrocity Prevention
The United States and the EU reaffirmed their commitments to use their collective resources to help prevent conflict and atrocities in order to avoid crises, contribute to sustainable peace and stability, and promote human security. Both partners committed to deepening coordination in specific at risk regions and countries, and supporting prevention-focused efforts.
Rule of Law and Justice Sector Reform
Goal 16 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development underscores the importance of strengthening the rule of law, promoting security sector reform, access to justice, and respect for fundamental freedoms for long term peace and development. The United States and EU discussed concrete steps to strengthen security and justice sector reform in accordance with Goal 16, including particular countries where closer partnership would be beneficial. The EU’s new Communication on Security Sector Reform, and efforts to better deliver capacity-building in support of security and development were also highlighted.
An Established Partnership
The SDD is now an established and valued annual forum for dialogue between the United States and the EU on issues that demand a comprehensive approach cutting across the security and development nexus. Together, we are committed to seeing the dialogue translate into impact on the ground where it counts the most. The next SDD will take place early summer 2017 in Brussels.