March 21, 2002 - NPCA: Peace Corps and NPCA nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

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By Admin1 (admin) on Friday, March 22, 2002 - 11:33 am: Edit Post

Peace Corps and NPCA nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Read and comment ont eh letter recently written by members of Congress nominating the Peace Corps and NPCA for a Nobel Peace Prize at:

Peace Corps and NPCA nominated for Nobel Peace Prize*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Peace Corps and NPCA nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Nobel Peace Prize Nomination Nobel Peace Prize Committee The Norwegian Nobel Institute Drammensveien 19, NO-0255 OSLO

Dear Committee:

As members of the United States Congress, we wish to nominate the Peace Corps and the National Peace Corps Association for the Year 2002 Nobel Peace Prize.

For 40 years, Peace Corps Volunteers have carried a message of peace, respect and cooperation all over the world. The collective achievement of 163,000 Volunteers serving in 135 countries is phenomenal. Thousands of schools have been built, hundreds of thousands of students have learned essential skills, agricultural production has been enhanced, small businesses have been created, new opportunities for women have emerged, health care programs have been established, and environmental protection has improved - all through the dedication of Peace Corps Volunteers.

The impact of Volunteers on international peace through understanding and cooperation goes far beyond development projects. Volunteers bring people and cultures together. They share ideas and ideals of their home community, but they also learn to speak the language, eat the food, sing the songs, and incorporate the qualities of their host communities into their own lives. They travel overseas to represent the United States, and they return home to represent the world within the United States. The central mission of all Volunteers, both overseas and after they return home, is peace.

The Peace Corps is so successful that at least 20 other countries have developed their own international volunteer programs. Inspired by the Peace Corps Volunteers who served there, Korea has created its own volunteer program to serve other nations. Following the Peace Corps model, other developing countries have created volunteer service programs to meet domestic needs. The Mali Volunteer Corps which, provides teachers and health care in rural villages, is only one example.

The impact of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs), represented by the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), is as great as that of the Volunteers during their overseas service. The Peace Corps prepares its members for a lifetime of public service for peace and understanding - regardless of their professional career. Well-known Peace Corps veterans include UNICEF Director Carol Bellamy and former US Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Holbrooke. The United States Congress is home to one Senator and six Representatives who served as Peace Corps Volunteers.

RPCVs in the NGO world include Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, Jonathan Lash, president of World Resources Institute, and Thomas Tighe, president of Direct Relief International. US ambassadors, such as Frank Almaguer, Johnnie Carson, David Greenlee, and many others, gained their international perspective through Peace Corps service.

RPCV groups maintain contact with their countries of service, and in several cases they have helped warring nations and factions find a path to peace. "Friends of Liberia" has played a vital role in the challenging peace process in the West African country. Working through the NPCA, dozens of RPCVs from the Great Lakes region of Africa returned to help secure the peace and begin redevelopment in Rwanda following the genocide in that country. The NPCA sponsored a group of RPCVs who devoted themselves to promoting the peace process in the Ethiopia and Eritrea border war. When peace finally arrived, members of the group were invited to Algiers to witness the signing of the treaty. Currently, members of that team and others are engaged in a similar project seeking solutions to the Congo civil war, and they have been invited to help Israeli and Palestinian NGOs more effectively build a foundation for peace in the Middle East.

In addition to these group efforts, individual RPCVs have made an impact on peace all over the world. Julia Demichelis, for example, has been an active peace-maker in the Balkans and in several parts of Africa. Robert Pastor, working with Former President Jimmy Carter, has been a central figure in peace initiatives in Haiti and throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Sargent Shriver, the founding director of the Peace Corps, has been a champion of peace throughout his extraordinary career as an ambassador and as chairman of Special Olympics International.

Returned Volunteers and former Peace Corps staff are among the world's most effective peacemakers. We would be happy to provide details on each of these and many more cases of leadership for peace on the part of the Peace Corps and the National Peace Corps Association.

The collective value of Peace Corps Volunteers and RPCVs for world peace cannot be measured. It is manifest in the lives of millions of people who gained hope and respect for themselves and others because Peace Corps Volunteers demonstrated hope and respect for them. Having been given the tools and skills to help themselves, the communities that have been host to the Peace Corps continue to improve their quality of life long after the Volunteers have gone. The value is unmistakable in the respect Returned Volunteers find among heads of state who respond to their efforts to bring peace to troubled lands.

Former Peace Corps Volunteer teams who work on peace initiatives bring nothing more to the process than goodwill and determination nurtured during overseas service. They have no money, no arms, and no official credentials. Most of them work on the projects as volunteers once again - without compensation. Yet, they are embraced at the highest levels by governments seeking help to end wars.

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia sent the following message to the RPCV team that helped bring an end to Ethiopia's war with Eritrea, "I write to you and to your colleagues to express my profound appreciation for your friendship, and for all the concern you have demonstrated during one of the most difficult periods for our country. Most of all I wish to thank you for all the effort you have made to help us achieve peace. I can assure you… your contribution was indeed invaluable for creating the momentum and the spirit which made this historic achievement possible."

The Peace Corps and the community of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, represented by the National Peace Corps Association, create the climate, the conditions, the momentum, and the spirit of peace that is needed all over the world. For this reason, they deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.

As members of the Congress, we urge you to award the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize to the Peace Corps and the National Peace Corps Association.

Thank you very much for considering this request.


Sam Farr, M.C. Tom Petri, M.C. Jim Walsh, M.C. Chris Shays, M.C. Lloyd Doggett, M.C. Barbara Lee, M.C. Betty McCollum, M.C. Bob Filner, M.C. Tom Lantos, M.C. E.B. Johnson, M.C.

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