Empowering civic activism toward a culture of peace.
In case you missed it, CBS has a video post of President Obama's speech at the Holocaust Museum yesterday to launch the interagency Atrocities Prevention Board. The APB gives the issue of mass violence higher priority within the federal government and, if the promise is fulfilled, would have a significant impact on the effort to reduce violence and suffering worldwide. The main objective of the APB is to identify hotspots around the world that have the potential of degrading into mass violence and use peacebuilding tools to provide recommendations to the President and Congress to proactively deal with these situations.
After the speech, a panel discussion with members of the APB was held at the White House with members of the public invited. The APB leaders give a lot of credit to the peace community in helping make the Board a reality. Representatives from Departments of State, Justice Defense, Treasury, Homeland Security and other agencies are participating in the Board. During introduction of the panel, several members expressed their gratitude to see this issue finally getting the attention it needs. To get a better feel about what the APB is doing, check out the video post on DoPeace. Eli from The Peace Alliance was there - hear his question to the panel at the 22:40 mark in the video.
Those of us who have been championing the creation of a cabinet-level Department of Peace recognize the APB as a "building block" that could eventually be folded into the DOP. When the APB demostrates success in their mission, other initiatives to reduce violence - both internationally and domestically - will have a great precedent to follow.