The Assyrian Policy Institute (API) is actively engaging U.S. Government officials and representatives to advance policies that align with our policy research agenda. API research, education, and capacity-building efforts do result in opportunities to also help policy-makers better understand policy conditions facing Assyrians in the Middle East and the chance to elaborate on policy solutions published in API reports. The API Status of Advocacy Report is published biennially to highlight our priority issues and latest in policy advocacy work. Download the report here.
Policy advocacy is a specific form of advocacy, of which there are many. It is the process of taking action, using various strategies, to influence the creation and development of public policy. It makes use of targeted actions aimed at changing policies, positions, programs, and/or funding priorities of the government. Our advocacy reflects our nonpartisan approach as we encourage all policymakers to make issues impacting Assyrians a priority. Specifically, our policy advocacy seeks to:
Establish new policies that would create conditions of equality for Assyrians in the countries that form their ancestral homeland
Improve existing policies that are intended to aid Assyrians in the Middle East
Amend pieces of legislation that negatively impact Assyrians in countries like Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran
This report provides a summary and analysis of the API’s policy advocacy work between 2019 and 2020. It focuses exclusively on the API’s engagement with the Trump-Pence Administration on U.S. policy concerning the future of security in the Nineveh Plain, namely with the Office of the Vice President, the National Security Council, the Department of Defense, and the Department of State. This policy advocacy work was executed in partnership with the Nineveh Plain Defense Fund (NPDF), and in direct consultation with the military and political leadership of the NPU in Iraq.
Based on extensive research and on-the-ground expertise, the API continues to prioritize security policy advocacy as the only viable way forward for Assyrians in Iraq. More specifically, the API continues to advocate for U.S. support for the expansion and training of the Nineveh Plain Protection Units (NPU) as a feasible and tested solution to security challenges in the Nineveh Plain. Sustainable and trusted security lies at the heart of all prospects for a future for Assyrians in Iraq, and is a necessary precursor for the large-scale repatriation of Assyrians, effective redevelopment efforts, and fulfilling the long-term goal of the establishment of a Nineveh Plain Governorate.
In addition to security policy advocacy, the API has consistently engaged U.S. officials and staff across numerous levels and institutions, including Members of Congress, on various issues affecting Assyrians in Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Jordan, and Lebanon; however, the scope of this report prioritizes our advocacy in relation to the question of the future of security in the Nineveh Plain as the most urgent and actionable policy. Once again, the focus on security is premised on the fact that humanitarian and political solutions are dependent on a security policy that locals trust and one that can facilitate return.