A DEPARTMENT OF PEACE?
few months ago I met with Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and he told me of
his plans to formulate a Department of Peace for the United States Government.
He now has a draft of a bill to establish such a department. You can see this on
Our response is on The Office of the Americas web-site
congressman is asking for input from people throughout the United States. OOA
has sent him its thoughts on the matter. We don't consider a Department of Peace
to be a conservative/liberal issue. It is something of universal concern. We
believe the time for a Department of Peace has come and that the proposal should
be expressed with boldness and clarity. In our travels we see that militarism is
no longer a synonym for patriotism. Our survival as a planet depends on
maintaining peace and justice.
suggested that a Department of Peace have a cooperative link with the United
Nations. Clearly our Congress has had downright hostility to that international
body. The League of Nations after World War I was destroyed by the action of our
Senate. World War II followed. That horrible disaster would not have taken
place if the League had been permitted to achieve its potential. After World War
II the United Nations was formed. We must support its potential.
believe that people must globalize their consciousness. We live on a very small
planet in grave danger of environmental destruction. The world military at peace
is a prime danger to our environment. Should the military of the world be at
war, we will encounter an entirely unsustainable situation.
has become rare for us to find a congressional initiative that we can support.
Let's get behind this project of Congressman Kucinich and work for a Department
some seventeen years we have sought international peace through the private
diplomacy of the Office of the Americas. We would be most happy to see our
objectives become institutionalized in the public sector.
points from a draft of the bill:
Department of Peace shall be established at the Cabinet level of the Executive
Branch of Government. It shall be enabled to strengthen non-military means of
peacemaking. It shall seek to create peace, to prevent violence and to divert
from armed conflict by developing new structures in non-violent dispute
resolution. It shall endeavor to promote justice and democratic principles to
expand human rights. It shall address matters both domestic and international in
scope. It shall derive its strength from a structure which encourages
initiatives from local communities, religious groups and non-governmental
organizations. A Secretary of Peace shall be appointed by the President.
Department of Peace shall develop a peace education curriculum in cooperation
with the Department of Education. The Department shall provide for citizen
exchanges and exchanges of legislators. It shall encourage the development of
international sister cities programs.
view of a history of over one hundred U.S. military interventions in the 20th
Century the proposal may be received by some with cynicism.
I suggest that we get behind the proposal of Congressman Dennis Kucinich and that we may find