Women are often overlooked and underappreciated in peace processes. But USIP President and CEO Nancy Lindborg says the inaugural Women Building Peace Award will shine a light on women who have “dedicated their lives to doing the kind of work that reduces conflict and resolves violence, often in some of the toughest countries around the world.”
As more developed nations have struggled desperately to contain and manage the COVID-19 pandemic, the specter of the virus rolling through the more fragile countries in the Sahel, Horn of Africa, and parts of the Middle East is a terrifying, slow-motion train wreck with the potential to trigger a devastating multidimensional-tiered health, economic, political, and security crisis. It also provides an urgent call to action to do things differently in fragile states so they can recover better.
As COVID-19 cases appear in the Middle East and Africa, USIP’s Nancy Lindborg talks about opportunities for peace amid the humanitarian and security risks posed by an outbreak. “The hope is that everyone uses this opportunity to put down their arms and think differently about conflict,” says Lindborg.
Five years ago, as the newly appointed and first woman president of the United States Institute of Peace, I was celebrating International Women’s Day in Kabul with the wonderful Afghan women on our USIP country team. Having first visited Afghanistan in 1997, when the country was in the grip of the Taliban, it was a joyous opportunity to mark nearly two decades of progress with this group of professional women—lawyers, scholars, and program managers.
USIP President and CEO Nancy Lindborg explains how U.S.-Iran tensions could exacerbate state fragility and hamper longstanding peacebuilding efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying, “All of this can be put at risk with the current tensions as both countries really fear becoming collateral damage.”
Returning from the Halifax International Security Forum, USIP President and CEO Nancy Lindborg explains why the growing number of “people power” movements around the world have left her optimistic, saying “the notion of what constitutes national security continues to evolve…security includes governments that are responsive to the needs of their people.”
Bipartisan sentiment toward China has hardened over the past year in Congress, scrambling ideological lines as concerns grow more acute over democracy, trade, human rights, and national security, the co-chairs of the House U.S.-China Working Group said.
Complementing its work to build peace internationally, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) also serves the American people directly as a core part of its founding mandate from Congress.
Eighteen years after 9/11, USIP President and CEO Nancy Lindborg reflects on the continued spread of violent extremism and points to the Task Force on Extremism in Fragile States as a blueprint for a new, preventive approach, saying, “I think we’ve all realized this is not a problem we can bomb our way out of.”
After several years of efforts by a bipartisan group of members of Congress and outside groups, Congress last month took legislative aim at a threat behind many of the world’s most pressing problems: fragile states. On December 20, as part of an appropriations package, President Donald Trump signed into law the Global Fragility Act, marking a new—if largely unnoticed— U.S. approach to conflict-prone states that can be vectors of violent extremism, uncontrolled migration, and extreme poverty.