the world faces more active armed conflicts than at any point since the end of World War II. Yet, the U.S. government spends only $1 on peacebuilding for every $200 we spend on war.
We know that the investments we make in peace signify more than just a line in the federal budget—they represent lives saved and potential unlocked. That’s why FCNL’s Advocacy Teams are working hard to protect investments in conflict and atrocities prevention programs. At a time when some in Congress are pushing draconian spending cuts to foreign assistance, our work to sustain these programs is critical.
Our advocacy is motivated by our care for our neighbors worldwide. I have been particularly inspired by FCNL’s partnerships with organizations and people on the ground who are doing the work of building a better world. Recently, FCNL’s Ursala Knudsen-Latta spoke with a peacebuilder, Tarig, who works with Invisible Children in Sudan. I am excited to share some of his story:
The conflict in Darfur, Sudan, has lasted for two decades. Nearly 3 million people are displaced, and renewed violence in Sudan threatens more.
Despite this, Tarig believes that peace is possible. He’s seen it firsthand.
Using funds provided by the U.S. State Department, Tarig and his colleagues are working with local Peace Committees to stop violence and prevent atrocities in the Darfur region before they occur.
They have documented hundreds of incidents where threats of violence were nonviolently resolved. Slowly, Tarig and the Peace Committees are tipping the scales to prevent more violence.
This kind of peacebuilding offers low-cost and low-risk methods for preventing conflict. With just a small investment from Congress, peacebuilders worldwide can do so much more.
Like all of us, Tarig wants his community to be a place where people can live without the threat of violence. It’s what motivates his work.
I hope you will join us in supporting peacebuilders like Tarig by urging Congress to invest in critical peacebuilding programs in Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations.
Advocates Continue to Push 2022 Iraq AUMF Repeal Forward
For years, FCNL advocates have worked to end our forever wars by repealing outdated war authorizations. In the 118th Congress, we’ve helped build an unprecedented base of bipartisan support to repeal the 2002 Iraq war authorization. Last week, the House considered but chose not to advance repeal as part of its annual defense policy bill, but our lobbyists see several promising paths forward, including the potential for a full vote in the House this fall. Read more about the state of play from FCNL’s Kevin Snow.
Israeli President Visits U.S., Advocates Urge Accountability on Human Rights
In a step meant to demonstrate the steadfast commitment between nations, Israeli President Isaac Herzog traveled to the United States to meet with President Joe Biden and address the U.S. Congress. Advocates used the opportunity to shine a light on ongoing concerns about human rights abuses committed against Palestinians. FCNL led a coalition of more than 60 organizations in sending a letter urging lawmakers to ensure that U.S. assistance to Israel does not contribute to human rights violations or attacks on members of the press.
New Study Finds Trinity Nuclear Test Fallout Reached 46 States
In 1945, the United States government tested its new atomic bomb in a New Mexico desert. This week, as the movie Oppenheimer hit theaters nationwide, a new study finds that the fallout extended farther than previously known—reaching 46 states. The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) is a law meant to compensate those exposed to radiation through nuclear weapons testing and uranium mining. These new findings underscore the urgent need for Congress to expand RECA to include more impacted communities.
Bridget Moix to Deliver 2023 Stephen G. Cary Memorial Lecture
How do we live out our Quaker faith and spiritual truths in a world wrought by lies, injustice, and violence? Join FCNL General Secretary Bridget Moix at Pendle Hill or online on Sept. 11 to hear more at the 2023 Stephen G. Cary Memorial Lecture.
The Friends Committee on National Legislation is a national, nonpartisan Quaker organization that lobbies Congress and the administration to advance peace, justice, and environmental stewardship. This Week in the World. The FCNL weekly newsletter of advocacy actions and updates and opportunities to take action on the issues you care about.