A Quaker Lobby in the Public Interest
We are changing U.S. foreign policy from one that is overly militarized to one that prevents, mitigates, and transforms violent conflict. We focus on peacefully preventing and ending violent conflict and reforming U.S. counterterrorism policy. By building support in Congress and the administration, we are increasing civilian capacities through the State Department and USAID to address violent conflict and extremism.
Latest on Peacebuilding Policy
We welcome this historic step forward. At the same time, there are tremendous challenges ahead, including to launch successful negotiations with the last remaining major guerrilla group, the ELN; and to dismantle the paramilitary successor groups that continue intimidating and harming communities throughout Colombia. And the major challenge will be to build peace from the ground up, ensuring that the victims of violence have real access to truth, justice, reparations and the guarantee that the violent past will not return.
The World Humanitarian Summit concluded that "humanitarian action cannot be a substitute for political action" in light of the widespread suffering facing the world today. Congress must heed the Summit's recommendations and prioritize and amplify U.S. peacebuilding efforts.
The failure of the narrow U.S. counterterrorism objective in Yemen illustrates the need for a broader, longer-term strategy – that includes a focus on a political solution and peacebuilding efforts – to more effectively end the current conflict and prevent violence in the future.
The international community has a responsibility to protect civilians. Programs that prevent violent conflict, avert mass atrocities, and protect civilians are basic building blocks for lasting peace and security. We craft and implement an advocacy agenda that supports the structures and resources necessary to help prevent violence and help save lives and money.
Congress and the President often prioritize militarized responses to violent extremism without considering their track record. Military aid programs – one of these militarized responses – are numerous and growing. FCNL is challenging this approach and proposing non-violent, grassroots alternatives that address the root causes of violent extremism.
Burundi: The community of Quaker peacebuilders in Africa is mobilizing again to support peaceful elections in Burundi in 2015 with elections monitoring and response mechanisms.
Nigeria: A robust network of local and international peacebuilders are working to ensure meaningful interaction between opposing factions to mitigate distrust and violence.
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FCNL Statement of Legislative Policy
"We seek federal policies and practices that avoid violence and embrace peaceful forms of managing and resolving conflict. The cycles of violence perpetuated by acts of terror and the armed overthrow of governments serve as warnings against the use of force, while the examples of nonviolent movements for change provide concrete alternatives. No war is justified.
We envision a U.S. with a stronger capacity for prompt and flexible nonmilitary responses to ongoing conflicts that may escalate into mass atrocities. To be most effective, these efforts will seek to alleviate violence and to protect vulnerable populations."