Resources & Publications

This is a library of QUNO publications, newsletters, and statements. You can also explore these resources through their related Areas of Work or through this reference page of Recent Publications.

March 2017

Threats to United States Support for the United Nations: An Overview

The international community of Friends set up the Quaker UN offices 70 years ago to support the United Nations (UN) in its work to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”. 

Recent proposals from the new US administration and from the US Congress to reduce the country’s engagement with the UN could damage its ability to carry out its life-saving work. These proposals include draft Executive Orders and legislation in the House and Senate proposing significant funding cuts and other forms of disengagement with the UN. Building on such legislation, in March, the White House released a proposed budget for 2017 that calls for reductions in financial support to the UN budget and peacekeeping operations, and for the end of support of UN climate change programs.

Global military spending is $1.6 trillion, dwarfing the $8 billion UN peacekeeping budget and total UN-related spending of $48 billion. While the US is the largest financial contributor to the United Nations, its annual total contribution to the UN and its agencies represents only 0.1% of the total Federal Budget. Cuts in US funding would put at risk the UN’s important work to address the most critical and pressing issues facing the world.

While it remains to be seen if or how the various draft bills, draft Executive Orders, and proposed White House budget will move forward, the existence of such measures shows the growing uncertain environment facing the UN and global efforts for peace more broadly. 

QUNO has produced the below background document, which will be updated as appropriate, to provide additional information and resources to learn more about this pressing issue.

For those in the United States, FCNL, the Better World Campaign and the UN Association of the USA provide avenues for action in support of the UN, including ways to contact legislators.

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March 2017

Can the children of parents sentenced to death or executed be considered victims of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment?

QUNO has prepared a written statement for the 34th session of the Human Rights Council, highlighting that the sentencing to death or execution of a parent leads to a violation of the child’s right to be free from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment (CIDT) or torture under international law. The statement outlines the severe impact of the death penalty on children, specific death penalty situations where there is robust evidence of a violation, as well as recommendations for States and the UN.

On 14th March, there will be a High-Level Panel on the death penalty, looking at how it relates to the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. We will also be presenting an oral statement during this discussion.

 

 

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January 2017

Briefing for Friends on opportunities and challenges for the protection of refugees and migrants at the UN level

On September 19th 2016, the UN set a new agenda under the ‘New York Declaration’ for responding to large movements of people crossing borders. Our briefing aims to inform Friends about the Declaration and developments it initiates. It also describes how QUNO is engaging in these opportunities, as well as ways that Quakers around the world can link up with, and benefit from, UN level initiatives.

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November 2016

Quaker Statement on Climate Change

A "Quaker Statement on Climate Change" has been signed by a large number of Quaker organizations, having been distributed to all Yearly Meetings across the world. The Statement recognizes the personal and collective responsibility to respond to anthropogenic climate change and calls for fair, sufficient and effective international action.

Read it by following the document link below.

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November 2016

Initial Input to Discussions on the Modalities Resolution for a Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration

QUNO is actively contributing to the process for negotiating a Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. This UN-level process is a major State-led response to the large numbers of people on the move around the world. It was mandated by the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, a high-level statement adopted by States on 19th September and will be finalised in 2018.

As States work towards drafting a resolution on the Modalities of this State-led process, QUNO has compiled an inputs paper which focusses on ensuring the human rights grounding (and compliance) of the Compact and the central role of civil society in the process.

This inputs paper makes several recommendations including:

  • Including human rights as a key message that cuts across thematic and regional consultations, and that this focus is grounded in existing international human rights law.
  • Using the Human Rights Council and other human rights mechanisms and expertise to make substantive contributions to the development of the Global Compact. 
  • Ensuring a central role for civil society (including migrants themselves) throughout the process.
  • Creating informal discussion spaces alongside the formal negotiations, as based on previous successful negotiations processes.

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November 2016

Mental Health, Human Rights and Criminal Justice submission to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

This briefing is QUNO's input to an open request for information by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the topic of mental health and human rights. It focusses on the links between criminal justice, mental health and rights protection, with a particular focus on children of parents in the criminal justice system.

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November 2016

Government Means of Supporting Small-Scale Farmers and Agricultural Biodiversity

This document presents some examples of government means of supporting small-scale farmers in agro-biodiverse settings. It is an overview of a range of options that we have seen national governments using. There also are clear overlaps and relationships among the measures discussed. The document served as a background report for the November 2016 Expert Consultation on the Role of the Public Sector in Supporting Small-Scale Farmers and Agricultural Biodiversity. 

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November 2016

Trends in Public Sector Spending in Agriculture

This document provides a brief overview of the statistics and trends on the declining public sector support for agriculture - demonstrating that public sector investment in agriculture is growing at a much slower and more unpredictable rate than the private sector. The note served as a background report for the November 2016 Expert Consultation on the Role of the Public Sector in Supporting Small-Scale Farmers and Agricultural Biodiversity.

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November 2016

Challenges to Small-Scale Farmers and Agro-Biodiversity

This note highlights the importance of small-scale farmers and agricultural biodiversity in ensuring global food security. It also provides a brief overview of the threats the two are facing, such as economic threats and land and environmental threats. The documents served as background information for the Expert Consultation on the Role of the Public Sector in Supporting Small-Scale Farmers and Agricultural Biodiversity held in November 2016. 

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November 2016

The Small-Scale Farmer and Agricultural Biodiversity Dialogue to Action Series

This concept note served as a background document for the Expert Consultation on the Role of the Public Sector in Supporting Small-Scale Farmers and Agricultural Biodiversity held in November 2016. This global consultation was the first one in the Dialogue to Action Series (DtA Series). 

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September 2016

Peacebuilding Statement for International Day of Peace

In honour of the International Day of Peace, QUNO and peacebuilding organisations from around the world have issued a shared statement to UN member states on the importance of embracing the new global framework for peace. 

Over the last year, states have made significant new commitments to addressing the root causes of conflict and displacement, in both the 2030 Agenda and the Sustaining Peace resolutions. The statement calls on governments to embrace this new mandate and to mainstream peace policy, implement peace at home, foster peace around the world, support funding for peace and to protect and support civil society inclusion.

 

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September 2016

Written Statement to WIPO IGC Session 31

FWCC/QUNO submitted a written statement to the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore at its 31st session. The statement, submitted on September 22, 2016, calls upon the IGC and those who take part in it to encourage the participation of small-scale farmers, whether or not they identify themselves as Indigenous. 

Read the statement by following the link below.

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September 2016

Contribution to Special Rapporteur John Knox's Report

On September 30, 2016, QUNO submitted a contribution to Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, John Knox’s upcoming report on biodiversity and human rights. In its contribution, QUNO focuses on the application of a human rights approach to agricultural biodiversity and calls upon Mr. Knox to consider including agricultural biodiversity in his report to be released in March 2017. 

Read the contribution by following the link below.

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August 2016

Climate justice and the use of human rights law in reducing greenhouse gas emissions

This report looks at how human rights obligations can help support policies which lead to more successful and just efforts to decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions due to human activities. The report examines the relationship between human rights and climate change as conceptualized at the United Nations, and explores how human rights can be used to secure greater emissions reductions while also achieving climate justice.  

Author: 

  • David Elliott
  • Lindsey Fielder Cook

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July 2016

QUNO co-hosts high level meeting on Refugees, Migrants and the 2030 Agenda

On July 20, 2016, QUNO co-hosted a policy forum discussion with the International Peace Institute in New York , along with the governments of Finland, Germany, Mexico and Morocco,  entitled "Ensuring that no one is left behind: A High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Refugees", during the ministerial segment of the High Level Political Forum. At a time when the world is experiencing the largest movements of peoples in recorded history, the goal of the event was to connect the dots between the 2030 Agenda and the upcoming UN Summit in September that will address large movements of refugees and migrants.

Current UN discussions on displaced persons are fragmented, with separate silos for issues of refugees, migrants and internally displaced people, each with their own normative framing, organizational context and political sensitivities. The 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development provides a new framing, using the mandate for peaceful, just and inclusive societies, and the imperative to "leave no-one behind", to address the needs and perspectives of all those who have been forced to leave their homes, whether from violence and conflict, climate change, or economic necessity.

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June 2016

Farmers' Rights Consultation - Summary Report

This outcome document summarizes a consultation QUNO hosted, in conjunction with the secretariat of the International Treaty (ITPGRFA), examining progress and challenges in domestic implementation of Article 9 - the section on Farmers' Rights. This summary report was submitted to the Global Consultation on Farmers' Rights being held in September in Bali, Indonesia.

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June 2016

Inclusivity and the Implementation of Sustaining Peace

This document includes a summary and recommendations from an informal discussion organized by the New York Peacebuilding Group between member states, UN experts, and civil society actors at Quaker House in New York focused on the implementation of the joint General Assembly and Security Council resolutions on the UN's Peacebuilding Architecture.

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June 2016

Transitions, Inclusion and Opportunities in the new UN Peacebuilding Landscape

This document summarizes the remarks made by QUNO during the 2016 annual session of the UN's Peacebuilding Commission, which focused on Transitions as a challenge to consolidating peace and security: The role of the PBC in diplomacy and political accompaniment.

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