Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduced historic legislation to create a cabinet level agency dedicated to peacemaking on July 11, 2001. “The time for peace is now,” Congressman Kucinich said. “At the dawn of a new millennium, there is no better time to review age old challenges with new thinking that peace is not only the absence of violence, but the presence of a higher evolution of human awareness with respect, trust and integrity toward humankind. Our founding fathers recognized that peace was one of the highest duties of the newly organized free and independent states. But too often, we have overlooked the long-term solution of peace for instant gratification of war. This continued downward spiral of violence must stop to ensure that future generations will live in peace and harmony.”
Kucinich’s legislation to create a Department of Peace focuses on individual, group and national responsibilities of holding peace as an organizing principle. The Department of Peace will focus on nonmilitary peaceful conflict resolutions, prevent violence and promote justice and democratic principles to expand human rights. A Peace Academy, similar to the five military service academies, would be created; its graduates dispatched to troubled areas around the globe to promote nonviolent dispute resolutions. “The challenges inherent in creating a Department of Peace are massive,” said Congressman Kucinich. “But the alternatives are worse. Violence at home, in the schools, in the media, and between nations has dragged down humanity. It’s time to recognize that traditional, militant objectives for peace are not working, and the only solution is to make peace the goal of a cabinet level agency.” In addition, the first day of each year, January 1st will be designated as Peace Day in the United States and all citizens should be encouraged to observe and celebrate the blessings of peace and endeavor to create peace in the coming year.
SUMMARY OF DEPARTMENT OF PEACE LEGISLATION
Legislation introduced today by Congressman Dennis Kucinich to create a Department of Peace includes the following: Establish a cabinet-level department in the executive branch of the Federal Government dedicated to peacemaking and the study of conditions that are conducive to both domestic and international peace. Headed by a Secretary of Peace, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The mission of the Department shall: hold peace as an organizing principle; endeavor to promote justice and democratic principles to expand human rights; strengthen nonmilitary means of peacemaking; promote the development of human potential; work to create peace, prevent violence, divert from armed conflict and develop new structures in nonviolent dispute resolution; and take a proactive, strategic approach in the development of policies that promote national and international conflict prevention, nonviolent intervention, mediation, peaceful resolution of conflict and structured mediation of conflict. The Department will create and establish a Peace Academy, modeled after the military service academies, which will provide a 4 year concentration in peace education. Graduates will be required to serve 5 years in public service in programs dedicated to domestic or international nonviolent conflict resolution. You can help make the Department of Peace a reality, and participate in an historic citizen lobbying effort to create a U.S. Department of Peace.
This legislation was introduced into the U.S. Senate (S. 1756) and re-introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 3760) in September of 2005. Visit the Peace Alliance for more information.