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USIP Executive Vice President Tara Sonenshine outlines how USIP's work in the field supports the United States' efforts around the world, as outlined in President Obama's May 19 speech on policy in the Arab world.

May 19, 2011

USIP’s operations, training and analysis in the field of international conflict management enables what the President of the United States outlined today in his speech at the State Department. Supporting our military and State, as well as helping the international community throughout the world, in conflict zones addressed by President Obama, USIP trainers and conflict managers are actively working to promote the kind of positive change that leads to stronger national security.

Our mission in Iraq enables that country to continue its transition to democracy with strong rule of law, religious freedom, and independent media that engages youth. Our work on the Middle East peace process provides the intellectual backbone and the building of institutions that support what many hope can be a re-energized process between Israelis and Palestinians. Our work on religious tolerance and interfaith dialogue underpins the need for tolerance and religious freedom in the Arab world. USIP's work on political transitions and peacemaking in the Arab world, our conferences in the U.S. and in the region on this subject, give local communities the training and skills to manage their own conflicts. USIP's strong expertise on constitutional law, reform, conflict management training, and rule of law are helping to create tolerant civil societies.

And USIP's operations in security sector reform have significant implications for peacebuilding in the Greater Middle East. Throughout North Africa, the Middle East, the Gulf, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, and other regions, USIP is helping build the judicial systems of a civil society and strengthening bonds between police and communities. Our work on gender addresses the half of the population not included in peace processes and addresses the fundamental inequities and violence against women that prevent progress.

If populations and people are going to exercise basic human rights and have their voices heard and amplified, peacebuilding has to enable the engines of change. Our work on sustainable economies provides the tools for empowerment necessary for citizens in conflict zones. Our work on science and peacebuilding create those entrepreneurial bridges that sustain research and development. Our applied research and practice in media and peacebuilding enable citizens overseas to utilize the new tools of the Internet, cell phones, etc. and to map conflict.

From analysis to action, from supporting national leadership to the whole of community, from the military sector to civilians, from training through education, USIP seeks to make a difference so that our nation's diplomats, soliders, and citizens can succeed in creating a less violent world.

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