Advocacy

Country Facts

  • The world is less peaceful today than at any time in the last decade. - 2018 Global Peace Index
  • Every 2 seconds a person is forced to flee their home. There are now 68.5 million people who are forcibly displaced, a record high. - UN High Commission on Refugees 2017 Annual Report
  • Deaths in war, numbers of displaced populations, military spending, and terrorist incidents, among others, have all surged since the beginning of the century. - Pathways for Peace, World Bank and the UN
  • NP Response

  • Connecting groups using UCP
  • Influencing key decision makers in local, national and multi-lateral organizations
  • Improving nonviolent practices
  • Promoting adoption of those practices
  • Standing with Civilians in Violent Conflict

    Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) is a global leader in the practice of unarmed civilian protection (UCP), with a solid track record of success in conflict zones. But violent conflicts are increasing across the globe, creating a growing need for unarmed civilian protection.

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    Our critical mission is to protect civilians. But protection is not only from physical harm. Protection is also about creating the empowering conditions for local communities to leverage existing structures and capacities to live peacefully with others.

    Our advocacy team amplifies this work in international policy forums at the United Nations and in capitals around the world. We not only advocate for support for our protection work in specific countries, but also raise awareness on the necessity of non-militarized approaches and the importance of unarmed protection as both a complement to traditional peacekeeping and a key ingredient in attaining sustainable peace to communities facing violence and conflict.

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    Advocacy at the United Nations

    Nonviolent Peaceforce was granted Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 2007. Consultative Status to ECOSOC is the highest status granted by the United Nations to non-governmental organizations (NGO's), thereby allowing them to participate in the work of the United Nations.

    Additionally, we serve on the NGO Working Group on the Security Council. Since 1997, the NGO Working Group has provided this unique platform for NGOs to access the UN Security Council. As the Security Council's decisions affect nearly all NGO constituencies - including human rights, humanitarian relief, disarmament, governance, and the concerns of women and children - the Working Group works to maintain a diverse membership.

    Our team advocates for the necessity of non-militarized approaches and the importance of unarmed protection as both a complement to traditional peacekeeping and a key ingredient in attaining sustainable peace to communities facing violence and conflict. Through our work, unarmed civilian protection has been included in 23 UN and UN-related policies, recommendations, and resolutions have recognized unarmed approaches for the protection of civilians.

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    Advocacy at the United States Congress (Success in 2021)

    In the Senate: On October 18, the Senate Appropriations Committee released their Fiscal Year 2022 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Funding Bill. 

    The below language advancing unarmed civilian protection is contained in the explanatory statement for the Senate bill.

    Unarmed Civilian Protection.—The Committee supports the use of unarmed civilian protection organizations and directs the Secretary of State, in consultation with the USAID Administrator, to evaluate the potential use of such organizations to provide direct physical protection to civilian populations, strengthen the local non-violent peacekeeping capacity of communities currently experi encing or at risk of violent conflict, and assist U.S.-funded sta bilization efforts. The Secretary shall consult with the Committees on Appropriations on such programs.  

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    In the House: On July 1, the House Appropriations Committee approved Fiscal Year 2022 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Funding Bill. 

    The below language advancing unarmed civilian protection is contained in the report accompanying the House bill.

    Unarmed civilian protection.—The Committee directs the Secretary of State, in consultation with the USAID Administrator, to provide funds for 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. The Secretary shall consult with the Committees on Appropriations on such programs.

    Advocacy at the United States Congress (Success in 2020)

    Getting the Secretary of State and USAID to consider both unarmed civilian protection and local non-violent peacekeeping was a BIG deal in 2019 ... but we were just getting started. The next step was to direct the U.S. federal agencies to provide funds for unarmed civilian protection. With your support, we delivered!

     

    FY2021 Appropriations Bill Includes UCP

    1. The below language advancing unarmed civilian protection is contained in the explanatory statement for the the Bill.*

    Unarmed civilian protectionThe Committee directs the Secretary of State, in consultation with the USAID Administrator, to provide funds for 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. The Secretary shall consult with the Committees on Appropriations on such programs.

     *through H. Rept. 116-444

    2.   Additionally, the inclusion of the below peace processes provision was a positive and unexpected addition in the statement accompanying the Bill. It specifically lists two of the areas where NP is currently working, South Sudan and Mindanao, Philippines!

    Post-Conflict/Peace Process Implementation AssessmentsThe agreement includes funding to continue programs within the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations that utilize independent assessments to peace accord implementation milestones in Colombia and to expand such assessments in other fragile and post-conflict settings, such as South Sudan and Mindanao, Philippines, as appropriate. 

    Advocacy at the United States Congress (Success in 2019)

    We have been finding ways to amplify unarmed civilian protection since we started. When we launched our advocacy, 6,939 of you were mobilized to write and call your representatives and senators about supporting unarmed civilian protection. And now, staffers and members of Congress are familiar with and supportive of unarmed civilian protection. 

     

    FY2020 Appropriations Bill Includes UCP

    1. The below language advancing unarmed civilian protection is contained in the report accompanying the billGetting the Secretary of State and USAID to consider both unarmed civilian protection and local non-violent peacekeeping is a BIG deal!

    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.

    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. 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 (which has since been restored, thanks to the language below).

    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.

    Advocacy at the United States Congress (2019 Testimony)

    In March 2019, Mel Duncan, Co-founder and Director of Advocacy and Outreach, testified before the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. Read the transcript of his full remarks here.


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    Nonviolent Peaceforce 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.

    Advocacy at the African Union

    In support of the Afican Union's Silencing the Guns initiative, Nonviolent Peaceforce is partnering with the UN Department of Peace Operations to strengthen the skills of African youth leaders in unarmed civilian protection. Nonviolent Peaceforce will offer online training in unarmed civilian protection (UCP) to youth peacebuilders from selected countries on the continent and provide follow-up mentoring and advisory services. 

    As a part of this initiative, Nonviolent Peaceforce has partnered with the United Nations–African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) to train African youth and peace leaders in Darfur on unarmed civilian protection through an online course. Read more here. 

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    Photo: African Union

    Developing and expanding the field

    As a relatively new practice, there is an urgent need to research and document the experiences of organizations on the ground in the last decades, in order to articulate proven, effective strategies methods. In service of this goal, Nonviolent Peaceforce is spearheading a comprehensive global review of good practices in the field of unarmed civilian protection. 

    Kenya Good Practices

    Highlighting unarmed civilian protection at international forums

    In addition to Influencing key decision makers in local, national and multi-lateral organizations, our advocacy team connects with other non-governmental organizations in the peacebuilding, protection, and humanitarian sectors. Notably, Nonviolent Peaceforce participates in one of the largest international forums: Geneva Peace Week (see the recaps from 2019 and 2018). See NP representatives at various speaking events at this Youtube playlist. 

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    What still needs to be done?

    A massive scale up of unarmed civilian protection is needed. All present approaches for the protection of civilians, whether armed or unarmed, provided by governmental institutions and non-governmental organizations added together do not come close to meeting present needs. We need to continue to validate and share widely affordable and effective ways to protect civilians. We also need to fight for adequate funding that is equivalent to the UN military peacekeeping budget—about $6.7 billion USD.

    The Nonviolent Peaceforce team at the 2019 Commission on the Status of Women in New York.
    Our Impact
    Since NP was granted Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 2007
    23

    UN and UN-related policies, recommendations, and resolutions have recognized unarmed approaches for the protection of civilians.

    15

    country missions to the UN have hosted events featuring UCP.

    7

    UN agencies have funded NP efforts. 

    Our Advocacy Team

    UN Representative: Gay Rosenblum-Kumar
    Director of Advocacy: Mel Duncan

    Granted Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC): 2007

     

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