It’s a bit late, but the second-ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) is finally here. And it’s a good thing – it’d be a shame if this effort to present a coherent strategic narrative of U.S. diplomacy and development, which was started by Secretary of State Clinton in 2010, petered out.
After the first QDDR in 2010, which was framed in terms of “elevating civilian power to be a better partner” to the U.S. military, this one stands on its own, presenting a more united front from the Department of State and USAID.
The overall focus is on achieving flexibility and adaptability for a “dynamic world.” But in the foreword, Secretary Kerry also says it “does not seek to be everything to everybody…because most of all, we intend to make it relevant.” As such there are four major pillars: conflict and violent extremism, climate change, inclusive economic growth, and democracy.
Ensuring Climate Integration
Thoroughly integrating climate change into State and USAID’s activities has been a priority of Secretary Kerry since he joined the department, starting with one of his first policy memos. His approach is laid out in even greater detail here. According to the QDDR, State is to establish a new working group on climate resilience to ensure climate integration takes place. State and USAID are also to designate critical countries for “in-depth climate engagement,” including those most vulnerable to its impacts, but also those with “key roles to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions” and those that “can influence neighboring countries to meet international climate goals.”
For the complete article, please see New Security Beat.