On Friday 10th March, the EEAS and the European Commission held a stimulating meeting with representatives from the United Nations on Resilience as a priority of the EU's External Action.
Resilience is a guiding concept of the EU Global Strategy. Fostering state and societal resilience in the EU's neighbouring and surrounding countries is priority of the EU's external action. In the prospect of a Joint Communication on Resilience, the EEAS and the European Commission wanted to listen to the rich experience of the UN agencies, funds, programs and related organizations.
A lively debate structured along 4 clusters (Sustainable Development and accountable governance; Humanitarian action and Food security; environment and climate change; conflict prevention and sustainable peace) took place. Many members of the large UN ‘family’ have provided very interesting contributions. They could express their views on resilience and shared their experiences, be it in Development (UNDP), disaster reduction (UNISDR), humanitarian aid and peace-building (UNOPS), migrations and refugees (UNHCR, IOM, UNRWA), be it on Food security (FAO, WFP), Economy (UNIDO), Health (WHO), Education and Culture (UNESCO), Environment (UN Environment), Child protection (UNICEF) and Gender equality (UN Women).
The rich discussion demonstrated the strong interest of the UN actors in the concept of Resilience, which is at the centre of many of the UN agendas. It showed a great degree of convergence between the EU and the UN thinking on Resilience, understood as a dynamic process, and as a way of helping states and societies not only to deal with chocks but also with changes. Resilience can thus help the EU and the UN in anticipating and preventing crisis, and in fostering sustainable peace and development. The participants agreed that resilience is not an end in itself. Resilience is above all about protecting and sustaining progress made in development and peace.
To learn more on the EU's approach on Resilience and on the proposed Joint Communication, please visit our Webpage on "State and Societal Resilience as an EU's External Action priority".