1. Update
  2. Peacebuilding

New Bipartisan Legislation to Prevent Violent Conflict

By Theo Sitther, March 8, 2019


A strong bipartisan coalition in Congress just introduced the Global Fragility Act (H.R.2116, S.727). The bill, if enacted, would require the Secretary of State to launch a government-wide initiative to “stabilize conflict-affected areas and prevent violence and fragility globally.”

In addition to mandating robust accountability and evaluation, the bill authorizes funding for the initiative by creating a Stabilization and Prevention Fund and authorizing the Complex Crises Fund.

Building on the passage of the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act in the previous Congress, the introduction of the Global Fragility Act marks another important step toward peacefully preventing deadly conflict.

The world is experiencing a 25-year peak in violence, causing displacement which drives 80 percent of global humanitarian need. The Global Fragility Act will strengthen the effectiveness and coordination of U.S. programs designed to reduce and address the sources of violent conflict.

The United States spends billions of dollars trying to contain and stop violent conflicts after they have already broken out. This legislation would ensure that preventive action is taken not only in countries with high levels of violence and fragility, but those where warning signs are beginning to appear. By prioritizing prevention, U.S. efforts will save lives.

The House bill was introduced by Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Mike McCaul (R-TX), Adam Smith (D-WA), Ann Wagner (R-MO), William Keating (D-MA), and Francis Rooney (R-FL). The Senate bill was introduced by Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Todd Young (R-IN).

Theo Sitther

  • Former Legislative Secretary for Peacebuilding Policy

Theo Sitther directed the peacebuilding program at FCNL and oversaw the work of the peacebuilding team. Theo lobbied to change and reform militarized counterterrorism policies with a particular focus on military assistance.