In a year of intense political debate and restructuring, it seems as though everyone is looking to give their two cents in regards to the presidential race. Luckily for myself and other students in my government class, we must research a bill that’s looking to be passed and report on it (for them, this is a facetious comment – I’m that one nerd who’s bouncing off the walls), so I’m getting caught up on some political shenanigans as well.
The bill I’ve chosen has the goal of creating a Department of Peacebuilding within the Executive branch of our government, and the PDF to all 41 pages of legislation can be found here.
If you don’t have time to read the whole thing (although I highly recommend that you do), the basis is that the Department would be appointed a Secretary of Peacebuilding by the President, and would have underneath them:
- Assistant Secretary for Peace Education and Training
[Encourage, create, report on impact of peace education and training from the beginning of a student’s academic life until its close; develop a Peace Academy; support peace curricula (and I advise you read page 23 of the bill to get the full impact).]
- Assistant Secretary for Domestic Peacebuilding Activities
[Develop policies for treatment of drug/alcohol abuse; develop community-based strategies for celebrating diversity and promoting tolerance; develop new policies/build on existing policies to: assist in prevention of crime, rehabilitating criminals, assist in supporting mental health services, domestic violence prevention, gang prevention, anti-bullying programs, supporting parenting skills; provide training and deployment of nonmilitary domestic conflict prevention and peacemaking personnel; create grant program to be known as the Cultural Diplomacy for Peace.]
- Assistant Secretary for International Peacebuilding Activities
[Develop new/promote existing programs to: provide for training/deployment of Peace Academy personnel, support country/regional conflict prevention in countries experiencing turmoil, address root causes of violence, achieve universal primary education, empower women and girls; support creation of multinational nonviolent peace force; support communication between international peacemakers; collaborate with Department of State/Labor, the Peace Corps, and the United States Institute of Peace to consult regarding applicable policies and research; create a grant program to be known as the International Cultural Diplomacy for Peace grant program.]
- Assistant Secretary for Technology for Peace
[Report on fuctions within the Department affecting the awareness, study, and impact of developing new technologies on creation and maintenance of domestic and international peace; create grants for research and development of technologies in transportation, communications, agriculture, and energy that are nonviolent in application and encourage sustainability of natural resources.]
- Assistant Secretary for Arms Control and Disarmament
[Carry out functions in the Department affecting arms control programs and arms limitation agreements; advise secretary on international negotiations (and there are a lot of fancy organizations listed after that part that I’d rather not force you into reading if you aren’t just reading the whole thing); assess location of weapons of mass destruction and deter testing of the aforementioned arms; serve as depository for copies of international legislation that address reduction of nuclear weapons (and for some reason they’re supposed to help prevent the militarization of space – which, up to now, I just assumed space would be a place internationally recognized as a frontier for rainbows and sunshine. Nope. Somebody’s gotta use it to blow people up. Of course. Welcome to planet Earth).]
- Assistant Secretary for Peacebuilding Information and Research
[Commission/compile studies on impact of war – especially physical and mental condition of children; compile information on effective community peacebuilding activities; compile research on effect of violence in media; publish monthly journal of activities of Department and encourage scholarly participation.]
- Assistant Secretary for Human and Economic Rights
[Assist Secretary, in consultation with Secretary of State, in furthering the incorporation of the principles of human rights; consult with Secretary of State, the Atrocities Prevention Board of the White House, and other similarly concerned governmental and nongovernmental agencies to gather information on domestic and international human rights abuses; conduct economic analyses of the scarcity of human and natural resources as a source of conflict; promote full compliance of domestic and international labor rights law; conduct policy analysis to ensure international developments of the United States positively impact peace and stability of recipient nation.]
- A General Counsel
Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list of the responsibilities the Department would/will have, and if you are curious about the rest of the bill, please. read. it. Additional information can be found below:
And just for fun, here’s an article against the bill being passed with one decent point – that the bill provides no information regarding a budget.