Mel Duncan with Dr. Rima Salah, member of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations Mel Duncan with Dr. Rima Salah, member of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations. Last October, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon selected a High-Level Independent Panel to review United Nations (UN) peace operations. The panel examined how the full range of UN peace operations can be harnessed to address the spread and intensity of conflict today.

Chaired by José Ramos Horta, Nobel Peace Laureate and Former President of Timor Leste, the panel strongly recommended unarmed approaches to protecting civilians-specifically recognizing unarmed civilian protection as practiced by Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP).

We need you to build the momentum.

On September 28th, U.S. President Obama will convene a Peacekeeping Summit with other world leaders at the United Nations.

You can get help get the message for unarmed strategies across. Tell President Obama that you want the Peacekeeping Summit to seriously consider the recommendations by the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations. Advocate for unarmed civilian protection to be a prominent aspect of UN Peace Operations.

(Published Sept. 22, 2015)

We are doing our part too. On September 15th - Tiffany Easthom, our South Sudan Country Director, spoke as part of a forum on "Unarmed Approaches to Civilian Protection" at the International Peace Institute. Several other high-level speakers also participated.

If you missed it, a recording of the forum is available to watch here.

With Hope and Resolve,

Ps. Don't forget to make your voice heard and share your message. Tell the White House that unarmed approaches need to be a prominent aspect of UN Peace Operations.

Here is an example of a message to the White House that a supporter of unarmed civilian protection wrote:

Dear Mr. President,

Citizens of the world were gratified and edified when you received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo in 2009. Belonging to this most prestigious club is a tremendous honor and, sometimes perhaps, a burdensome responsibility as the world continuously looks to its Nobel Laureates for leadership and inspiration.

It has been my privilege, as the former Executive Director of the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, to have intensively studied the work of Nobel Laureates and the techniques which increase the likelihood of peaceful dispute resolution. I have carefully followed the work of your fellow Nobel Laureate, former President José Ramos Horta, as he has chaired the UN’s High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations.

One of the strong recommendations forthcoming from the Panel is to increase the deployment of unarmed persons to protect civilians at risk. Unarmed civilian protection is a vital technique with which I am quite familiar. It has been and is my privilege to support the work of the Nonviolent Peaceforce, an organization which conducts this activity in some of the most harrowing and challenging places on the planet.

As you convene the Peacekeeping Summit at the UN later this month, I strongly urge you to emphasize the enormous value of unarmed civilian protection and to recommend it as an essential, effective, and cost-effective tool of UN peace operations. Your voice and ongoing leadership in the realm of peace is desperately needed in a world torn by bitter disagreement and open conflict.

Maureen K. Reed, MD, FACP
Former Executive Director, Nobel Peace Prize Forum

You can protect civilians who are living in or fleeing violent conflict. Your contribution will transform the world's response to conflict.