February 24, 2011

Proposed Elimination of USIP Funding Threatens Community Mediation Programming Worldwide

The United States Institute of Peace faces an uncertain future if a proposed budget moving though Congress is approved.  According to the Institute's President Richard Solomon in a February 17th press release
The House vote on February 17 [2011] proposes elimination of the Institute’s funding for the remainder of the fiscal year, and reflects the concern of all Americans, which we share, to bring the federal budget under control.
The elimination of the Institute would be a substantial blow to both the pragmatic and idealistic movements promoting constructive, non-violent approaches to conflicts of all shapes and sizes.

For the community mediation movement specifically, defunding the Institute would be a conspicuous loss.  A quick search of USIP's grant database reports nearly half a million dollars in community mediation related projects that have supported our field over the years.  Beyond these direct investments in community mediation, the Institute's emphasis on collaborative partnerships and role as a convener of stakeholders for peace often serves to bring community mediation practitioners into broader projects, allowing them to share their expertise and message with new audiences.  

As an aligned partner in peace work, NAFCM stands in solidarity with the Institute and firmly asserts the continued need for their invaluable services.  We encourage others engaged in peace work and/or committed to constructive outcomes for conflicts to learn more about the Institute and discover current actions designed to support its continued existence.

In community,
Executive Director, NAFCM

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