September 21, 2002 - NPCA Web Site: Ending Terrorism By Working For Peace & Reconciliation

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Ending Terrorism By Working For Peace & Reconciliation

Read and comment on this resolution from the NPCA Web Site on ending Terrorism By working For Peace & Reconciliation at:

Ending Terrorism By Working For Peace & Reconciliation*

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Ending Terrorism By Working For Peace & Reconciliation

Resolution of the Board of Directors, The National Peace Corps Association

The Peace Corps – an idealistic endeavor of an idealistic nation – has worked for 40 years with millions of people in thousands of developing villages and communities. Its work of promoting international friendship and peace, while helping people take control of their own lives and development, has been among America’s finest programs of outreach to the world. Americans have come to understand and embrace the Peace Corps' vision and mission as advanced by President Kennedy and the goals established by the Congress in 1961:

• to help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women;

• to help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served; and

• to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

We believe that these three mutually-reinforcing goals of Peace Corps – as lived out in the work and commitments of present and past volunteers – speak directly to those conditions which breed the misunderstanding and intolerance that can lead to terrorism, as our nation has so tragically learned.


As a community of American citizens who have lived and worked among many cultures and religions of the world, the National Peace Corps Association, and the wider Peace Corps family, is greatly concerned that we and our families and friends here in America not vilify or harm others because of their religious beliefs, their nationality, or their appearance. The United States is a nation of immigrants. Among us are many of the Islamic faith, who have come to our shores in recent generations and recent times from the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. In these times already darkened by the tragedies of suicide attacks, we must not only be tolerant but also affirm our diversity. Bigotry is a cause of violence, not a way to end it! If we now face a new kind of war, waged in many parts of the world, we must do everything we can to wage peace through tolerance and understanding, within our own borders, as well as throughout the world. Let us demonstrate by our examples!


Today’s 7,300 Peace Corps Volunteers – working in 75 countries as teachers, environmental specialists, health workers, business developers, and agricultural advisors – demonstrate generosity, service, civic pride, a strong work ethic, and a dedication to the cause of peace with development. These are among our country’s most enduring and important values, ones which work to deal with the economic and social injustice that leads some to terror and violence. The message of Americans working together with host country nationals around the world is a powerful one with a significant and positive impact at this time in our nation's history.

We believe that the Peace Corps, the National Peace Corps Association, and its 135 country of service and domestic geographic affiliate groups, should be recognized as having very important capabilities to undermine terrorism through working for peace and reconciliation and defeating the conditions that breed it. Many of the 163,000 returned Peace Corps Volunteers are ready to offer their invaluable international experience to help build a better and safer world.

Toward this goal, therefore, the Board of the National Peace Corps Association resolves to support the following courses of action, in which the entire Peace Corps community, including those supporting its mission, can participate in the following ways:

The National Peace Corps Association strongly recommends, as an integral part of an effective, long-term strategy to blunt terrorism, that the number of active Peace Corps Volunteers be increased to 10,000, and every effort be made to strengthen their programs, training, performance, and service to individuals and organizations in their countries of service. Supporting initiatives should include the following:

Foster Mutual Understanding: Fully utilize the language skills of returned Volunteers in special international situations. Use the Internet and develop other forums to promote direct communication and build community among peoples of all nations and faiths.

Support Global Education: Support education, domestically and overseas, that emphasizes greater understanding of and respect for peoples and cultures of the world.

Improve Conditions: Redouble initiatives to address basic conditions of life, via capacity-building for local civic organizations, improving health by fighting AIDS, and protecting the environment by addressing issues of pollution.

Address Crises: Strengthen NPCA’s Emergency Response Network and Peace Corps’ Crisis Corps as means of bringing valuable experience in combating disasters to relevant countries of service.

Promote Volunteer Service: Greatly expand and support of all forms of volunteer service, by governments, corporations and the voluntary sector, both domestically and internationally.

Build Partnerships: Expand and deepen Peace Corps contributions to multi-sectoral partnership projects between governments, private and voluntary sectors in the above areas.

The National Peace Corps Association is a network of Peace Corps alumni and friends dedicated to working for world peace, understanding and well-being, with an emphasis on “bringing the world back home.” The NPCA and its 135 affiliate groups promote advocacy and global education, and provide community, national and international services. The NPCA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization independent of the Peace Corps, which is an agency of the United States government.

September 21, 2001

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