By Miranda Chiarello
Nominated by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) hopes to receive the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. Nonviolent Peaceforce provides protective accompaniment for threatened civilians, ultimately transforming the way civilians acknowledge, respond to, and prevent conflict.
Civilian peacekeepers who are at the front-line of violent conflicts around the world deserve to be recognized. They are brave, selfless and strong-minded, putting their lives before others in order to create a peaceful society for all. NP field teams are presently deployed in the Philippines, South Sudan, Myanmar, and the Middle East. Using Unarmed Civilian Protection (UCP), NP has effectively contributed to the safety and security of each conflict zone. Reuniting child soldiers with their families, creating weapons-free zones, and establishing ceasefire agreements, Nonviolent Peaceforce is truly a force to be reckoned with. Their work is based on the worth of every person, regardless of race, gender or background.
Personally, I admire each peacekeeper's determination to make a difference, regardless of recognition. Their staff includes veterans of conflict zones, experienced peacekeepers and those new to the field. Since 2002, NP has been working towards equality and justice in multiple areas around the world. This is not an eight hour work day, peacekeepers work around the clock, seven days a week, often away from their families and loved ones. It is crucial to emphasize and support their unrelenting drive to create a nonviolent world. They do not “clock-out” until conflict is resolved. Ceasefire agreements can take weeks, months, or sometimes years, to be implemented.
Awarding the Noble Peace Prize to Nonviolent Peaceforce would highlight and strengthen their work and the work of similar organizations. "At a time when worldwide tensions seem to be at a boiling point, their work is vital and relevant,” AFSC wrote. AFSC maintains a Nobel Peace Prize Nominating Task Group that spends ten months each year, considering and discussing a recommendation of a nominee to the AFSC Board. Nonviolent Peaceforce has been nominated, granting them the opportunity to win the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. On behalf of Nonviolence International NY, congratulations Nonviolent Peaceforce. Great work!
Protecting Unarmed Civilians Nonviolently Proven Effective Worldwide. (2016, February 24). Retrieved from http://www.afsc.org/story/nonviolent-peaceforce-nominated-2016-nobel-peace-prize