02 May 2007

Support UN peacekeeping

Excuse me for a moment while I blather on like an activist.

The time has come for Congress to debate the foreign affairs budget, which of course includes funding to the United Nations, including peace operations. The Better World Campaign and the United Nations Association of the United States of America have teamed up to create a website, the Price of Peace, where you can learn more about peacekeeping and sign a petition to your Congress member asking for continuing support of peace operations.

UN peacekeeping is vital in many countries emerging from conflict, as it provides security and stability and thus allows for the development of peaceful political discourse. Peacekeeping is not without its problems, though on the whole the operations have had significant successes. There are currently over 100,000 peacekeepers stationed worldwide, with many more coming if missions in Darfur and Lebanon reach their authorized strength, as well as talks now underway about a mission in Somalia. The United States doesn't have a particularly stellar record when it comes to meeting its obligation to the peacekeeping budget, even though such missions are vital to American interests abroad.

Take a minute to visit the website and sign the petition, which is now linked in the sidebar here. If you're skeptical or want to learn more about peace operations, I recommend reading an introductory article here, and visiting one of these sites:

Center on International Cooperation: Global Peace Operations
Henry L. Stimson Center: Future of Peace Operations Program
Challenges of Peace Operations Project
Partnership for Effective Peacekeeping

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