Act Now for Nonviolence!
YOU amplified the call for nonviolence on Capitol Hill in 2019 - and we need you speak up for peace again. Congress must know that we want to start building a future of sustainable peace NOW. The pandemic has highlighted the urgency of supporting unarmed civilian protection.
Urge your representative to "support an appropriation of $25 million for Unarmed Civilian Protection in the FY2020 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriations bill."
Your gifts continue to provide much needed support toward lasting peace
We continue to be an international civil society organization working with local civil society organizations in areas of violent conflict. And we continue to advocate and share our experience with governments and multi-lateral organizations so they can devote an increasing amount of revenue to nonviolent approaches to protect civilians.
We the People for Peace
Summer 2019, 6,939 of you were mobilized to ask your senators to specifically include financial support for Unarmed Civilian Protection in the FY2020 appropriations bill. Fall 2019, we saw how your powerful your voices were: the FY2020 appropriations bill included language restoring funds for the State Department that were rescinded by the Trump administration without Congressional approval, including the $1.8 million grant to Nonviolent Peaceforce that was to be used for our work in Iraq. Although not a done deal (yet!), this was a huge step in the right direction.
But we are just getting started. Now, we are amplifying your voices to try to get an appropriation of $25 million for all of Unarmed Civilian Protection work, not just our own programs.
This is an issue to watch: Rep. Colin Peterson (D-MN7) has requested that the House Appropriations Committee Chair include the $25 million for UCP in this year’s appropriations bill. Yet, you can do more than simply watch - you can play a role in advocating for Unarmed Civilian Protection.
Your Voice is Powerful: Success in 2019
We have been finding ways to amplify unarmed civilian protection since we started. When we launched our advocacy of you wrote and called your Representatives and Senators about supporting unarmed civilian protection. In fact, we had staff for one key Senator tell us that everyone in their office knew about unarmed civilian protection and we did not have to generate any more phone calls!
Mar 2019: Testimony in Congress
Mel Duncan, Co-founder and Director of Advocacy and Outreach, Nonviolent Peaceforce U.S., testified before the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs.
Nonviolent Peaceforced urged the Committee to recognize the practice of Unarmed Civilian Protection as an additional recommended activity in the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriations bill fiscal year 2020, including the following programs, which are ranked in order of priority: Women, Peace, Security; Transition Initiatives; South Sudan; Reconciliation Programs; and Contributions for International Peacekeeping Activities.
Jun 2019: FY2020 Appropriations Bill Passes the House
The House passed their appropriations bill with language urging the Secretary of State to consider the future use of unarmed civilian protection organizations and evaluate the potential use of such organizations to provide direct physical protection to civilian populations, to strengthen the local non-violent peacekeeping capacity of communities included in the accompanying report.
Dec 2019: Bill Passes Senate & is Signed by POTUS
1. The following language advancing unarmed civilian protection is contained in the report accompanying the bill:
Unarmed civilian protection—The Committee urges the Secretary of State, in consultation with the USAID Administrator, to consider the future use of unarmed civilian protection organizations and evaluate the potential use of such organizations to provide direct physical protection to civilian populations, to strengthen the local non-violent peacekeeping capacity of communities currently experiencing or at risk of violent conflict, and to assist United States-funded stabilization efforts.
Getting the Secretary of State and USAID to consider both unarmed civilian protection and local non-violent peacekeeping is a BIG deal!
2. Secondly, language restoring funds for the State Department that were rescinded by the Trump administration without Congressional approval is also included in the bill:
The agreement directs the Department of State to fully restore $40,026,539 in Economic Support Fund that lapsed at the end of the fiscal year 2019 due to apportionment and obligation delays, including $35,379,246 for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL). Such programs shall be funded at not less than the previously planned levels and are in addition to any amounts identified for fiscal years 2019 and 2020 programs.
Included in the DRL funding lapse was a $1.8 million grant to Nonviolent Peaceforce that was to be used for our work in Iraq.
We want to thank Bob Van Heuvelen, Bobby Cunningham and the rest of the staff at VH Strategies for providing pro-bono lobbying services. We truly cannot do this work without their expertise and your support!