The United States and partners from Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom took another step toward building more effective civilian response capability in meetings that took place this week in Washington, DC. These countries have already established, or are building, civilian expert capabilities and whole-of-government tools, similar to the United States’ Civilian Response Corps, to prevent and respond to international crises. All are committed to enhancing interoperability in deployments and increasing the nature of the expertise available for reconstruction and stabilization. We applaud this use of smart power, and fully support the growing international trend of expanding and building on the important role civilians have played in maintaining and creating peace and stability. This new example of partners working together in civilian response complements similar efforts among our militaries, and will continue to reinforce the efforts our countries are pursuing through multilateral and regional organizations.
The Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization participates in semiannual meetings with Canada’s Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (START) and the United Kingdom’s Stabilisation Unit (SU). This week’s gathering marked the expansion of this group to include the Office of the Australian Civilian Corps; Germany’s Division at the Foreign Office in Berlin responsible for Civilian Crisis Prevention and Peacebuilding; and the Netherlands’ Peace Building and Stabilisation Unit (PSU).