I have good news to report from Washington! 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!
Just moments ago, President Trump signed the Fiscal Year 2021 Appropriations Bill, which will boost our work in two ways:
1. The following language advancing unarmed civilian protection is contained in the report accompanying the 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.
Getting the Secretary of State and USAID to consider both unarmed civilian protection and local non-violent peacekeeping is a BIG deal!
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 Assessments—The 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.
Hundreds of you wrote and called your Members of Congress 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!.
PLEASE CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE AND SENATORS AND THANK THEM FOR “SUPPORTING UNARMED CIVILIAN PROTECTION AND NONVIOLENT PEACEKEEPING AS INCLUDED IN THE APPROPRIATION BILL.”
Have a Wonder-Full holiday.