Monday, February 21, 2011

The Department of Peace Act is Reintroduced in the 112th Congress

In a timely response to recent budget slashing that included eliminating financing for the U.S. Institute of Peace, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) has re-introduced legislation to establish a cabinet-level Department of Peace. You can read the details of the bill - H.R. 808 - at, but a summary of the key provisions follows:
Establishes a Department of Peace, which shall be headed by a Secretary of Peace.
Sets forth the mission of the Department, including:
(1) cultivation of peace as a national policy objective; and
(2) development of policies that promote national and international conflict prevention, nonviolent intervention, mediation, peaceful conflict resolution, and structured conflict mediation.

Establishes in the Department:
(1) the Office of Peace Education and Training;
(2) the Office of Domestic Peace Activities;
(3) the Office of International Peace Activities;
(4) the Office of Technology for Peace;
(5) the Office of Arms Control and Disarmament;
(6) the Office of Peaceful Coexistence and Nonviolent Conflict Resolution;
(7) the Office of Human Rights and Economic Rights; and
(8) the Intergovernmental Advisory Council on Peace.

Directs the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State to consult with the Secretary concerning nonviolent means of conflict resolution when a conflict between the United States and any other government or entity is imminent or occurring.

Transfers to the Department the functions, assets, and personnel of various federal agencies.

Establishes the Federal Interagency Committee on Peace.

Directs the Secretary to encourage citizens to celebrate the blessings of peace and endeavor to create peace on a Peace Day.
Rep. Kucinich has introduced this legislation in each of the past four sessions of Congress and has gained grassroots support from across the country, mostly via the Peace Alliance. The legislation will need all the support it can get to gain traction in the current environment of budget cutting, but the investment in nonviolent conflict resolution now will provide years of positive returns to U.S. taxpayers, both financial and humanitarian. Please contact your Representative today and ask that they cosponsor H.R. 808!


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