On the eve of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, we’d like to ask you to sign an open letter to President-elect Obama asking him to use King’s vision to create a better, more peaceful country.
It’s a corollary to our Roadmap for Peace — and, by the way, we did it!
Thanks to you, we’ve delivered the Roadmap for Peace to President-elect Obama’s transition team, along with more than 10,000 signatures.
In the days, weeks, and months to come, we’ll be working with the team and with representatives on Capitol Hill to encourage the use of the Roadmap as a vision for the future a more secure, peaceful world, with the United States building stronger relationships everywhere in the world through diplomatic, not military, means.
But diplomacy has been neglected in recent years. Roughly 700,000 civil servants work for the Department of Defense. In contrast, there are 6,500 career Foreign Service Officers and 5,000 Foreign Service specialists at 265 posts abroad and at the State Department.
Our country has also failed to use other means of diplomacy, such as United Nations agencies and other multilateral institutions.
This week, please take a few minutes to e-mail your senators and representative about this great lack in our country’s resources for conflict prevention and resolution.
Some talking points:
We shouldn’t put all our eggs in one basket. Yes, we need official government initiatives, but we also need to revive public diplomacy and increase people-to-people exchanges and citizen diplomacy in order to build the international partnerships the United States needs.
Americans want to be represented at the United Nations. Polls show that we view the U.N. as a way to share the responsibilities of engagement with the world. Yet the U.S. is still behind in paying its dues, and Americans are underrepresented at the staff level in three key U.N. agencies.
Open dialogue and principled negotiations need to be the diplomatic standard, not a reward.
You can use our web site to find your senators and representative's contact information and the talking points above.
Write from your heart, but keep your e-mail short and sweet. Urge your senator or representative to download and read the Roadmap for Peace at http://support.afsc.org/site/R?i=7K30BdNkgZ1u88ge2F3vrw...
Thank you for your time, your enthusiasm, and your courage in supporting our Roadmap.
American Friends Service Committee