Peacebuilding is one of QUNO’s core programme areas in New York, with links to QUNO Geneva’s Disarmament & Peace programme, in particular their work with the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform, one of the main fora for discussions of peacebuilding issues at the United Nations (UN). The current priorities of QUNO’s Peacebulding Programme are Reconciliation & Dialogue and the Role of Civil Society in Peacebuilding.
Peacebuilding at the UN was first identified as an activity complementing peacemaking and peacekeeping in the Agenda for Peace in 1992. A continuing concern around the topic led in 2005 to the establishment of the UN Peacebuilding Commission and its associated bodies, recognizing "the need for a coordinated, coherent and integrated approach to post-conflict peacebuilding and reconciliation" (2005 World Summit Outcome). At the same time, peacebuilding approaches have achieved broader recognition across the UN system and are now having an impact across a range of activities by UN actors on the ground. Read more about the UN Peacebuilding Architecture.
In countries affected by conflict, the violent and destructive actions taken by human beings against other human beings has a lasting impact. The webs of relationships that make up a society — between people, and between people and institutions — often break down during a conflict. As a result, QUNO believes that peacebuilding must focus not only on rebuilding institutions and the state, but also on rebuilding communities. QUNO supports the inclusion of restorative processes such as reconciliation and dialogue in peacebuilding responses where appropriate as important parts of repairing relationships at all levels of society. Read more about Reconciliation & Dialogue.
QUNO also aims to create more inclusiveness in UN peacebuilding. In conflict affected societies, national levels of decision making and authority have often been eroded, leaving non-state and community level mechanisms to sustain the social fabric, maintaining some level of services, providing justice, and supporting economic activity. By linking with local peacebuilding work in countries like Burundi, QUNO tries to narrow the gap between the field and headquarters in order to support the work of the UN and members states by creating more space for the engagement of all stakeholders. Read more about the Role of Civil Society in Peacebuilding.
The main constituency for QUNO’s peacebuilding program is the UN system and member states. The location of the headquarters of the UN Peacebuilding Commission is in New York, as well as other parts of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture, and this offers a unique opportunity for QUNO to build relationships with key actors and support quiet diplomacy and facilitation around UN peacebuilding processes.
In August, Representative Camilla Campisi from QUNO New York was interviewed by the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) for a podcast on their website. The title of the discussion was "The Quaker United Nations Office: Addressing Peacebuilding and the Prevention of Violent Conflict through Dialogue and Quiet Diplomacy." To hear the interview, please click here or here. To see resources from QUNO posted on the ACUNS website, please click here .
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