Unarmed civilian peacekeepers protect vulnerable civilians and prevent violence in some of the hottest spots in the world today. Invited into conflict zones by credible local organizations, these peacekeepers are unarmed and live and work in the local communities caught up in war. UCP is a fraction of the cost of military peacekeeping. And it works.
With escalating violence in so many places like Syria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, it's the perfect time to tell Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton about this effective, peaceful way to resolve conflict.
Imagine if the U.S. government joined other governments like Germany, Norway, Sweden and New Zealand in supporting international organizations providing civilian peacekeeping. Violence could decrease. Wars could be avoided. Lives could be saved. Ask Secretary Clinton to support peace!
I'm writing today to ask you to support an innovative, nonviolent way to resolve conflict -- unarmed civilian peacekeeping (UCP). I hope the U.S. will join the governments of Belgium, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia in supporting this innovative work.
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With UCP, trained peacekeepers are invited into conflict zones by credible local organizations. They're unarmed. They live and work in the communities. With the Arab Spring and continuing violence in Syria, now is the time to seriously consider nonviolent ways to address conflict.
Compared to traditional military peacekeeping, UCP is incredibly inexpensive. And it works.
Nonviolent Peaceforce, a nonprofit organization, is a pioneer of UCP in South Sudan and the Philippines. Their unarmed peacekeepers stop conflicts before they happen.
With UCP, these peacekeepers bring together conflicting parties to talk through problems. They work with government and non-government agencies and hear all sides of the story. They accompany threatened people to safety.
You can learn more about unarmed civilian peacekeeping and its successes on Nonviolent Peaceforce's website: www.nonviolentpeaceforce.org.
I support unarmed civilian peacekeeping and, as you consider what lies ahead for the U.S. Department of State, I urge you to support it, too. Thank you.
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