Media Contact 202-226-8467

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last evening House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul spoke at the State Department’s launch of their Global Music Diplomacy Initiative. The State Department’s new program is a result of McCaul’s PEACE Though Music Diplomacy Act, which was signed into law in 2022. A key provision in McCaul’s bill required the State Department to submit a multi-pronged strategy for advancing U.S. foreign policy goals, including conflict resolution and peacebuilding through music-related exchange programs.

Watch the full video HERE

Inspiration of PEACE Through Music Diplomacy Act:

“On November 13th, 2015…Paris came under an attack, it was coordinated by ISIS. Four bombs were detonated, several gunmen assaulted innocent civilians, claiming the lives of a hundred and thirty people and injuring so many others. Just before this attack I was actually in Paris and Brussels warning them about the threat of ISIS, and about the terror threats in America and Europe. You fast forward shortly after that deadly evening I saw this performance, and it was U2…It was one of the most uplifting inspiring moments, because it was this sort of collective condemnation against global terrorism expressed through music in a peaceful way… It was powerful to me, the influence of music, and it was that attack and the collective power of music that led me to introduce the Peace through Music Diplomacy Act.”

On the PEACE Through Music Diplomacy Act:

“The act recognizes the unique position musicians play in promoting peace globally, while also recognizing the U.S. music industry for its cultural contributions and that’s what Lee’s office does. Tonight, we’ve been brought together by a mutual love of music, in the arts, and in their ability to promote unity, peace, and freedom, in our efforts to use music as a tool to help spread peace throughout the globe.”

On Diplomacy and Soft Power:

“But soft power is critical, and there is no better way to do that than the arts. Music is transformational, it is a universal language… it carries a tremendous amount of power and emotion. We have the most capable military in the world but drones and weapons alone—as I said to the GRAMMY’s many times—cannot kill a hostile ideology. As we witness the rise of aggressive nation states that reject democracy and promote tyranny, like Mr. Putin in Ukraine, we must use every one of our diplomatic tools to preserve the promise of democracy and that includes our artists and musicians and our culture.”