On December 13th, the Young Transatlantic Network in Brussels hosted Kathleen M. Fitzpatrick, Chief of Staff of Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights at the U.S. Department of State, for a luncheon discussion on U.S. approaches to civilian security across the world.
Ms. Fitzpatrick opened the discussion by explaining the importance of promoting and ensuring civilian security around the world as local issues can, and often, have global impacts. As a result, more strategic transatlantic partnerships and more targeted cooperation with civilian society actors are becoming increasingly crucial as the threats often come from non-state actors and are thus difficult to tackle.
The audience of around twenty five young professionals whose expertise range from politics, business to foreign policy, was particularly interested in how to balance particular geopolitical or national interests with the moral obligations to fight human right violations and ensure civilian security.
During the lively discussion, the focus was also shifted towards how to deal with states that are important international actors, such as China or Russia, but might have different views on how to deal with humanitarian crises.
Topics discussed also covered how the international community should support states in democratic transitions so that the positive changes remain even after the withdrawal of the international actors and how gender perspectives should be enshrined in all actions protecting human rights and democracy.
Listen to a podcast interview with Kathleen M. Fitzpatrick about human rights.