A "Quaker Statement on Climate Change" was signed by a number of Quaker organizations and distributed to all Yearly Meetings worldwide. The Statement recognizes the personal and collective responsibility to respond to anthropogenic climate change and calls for fair, sufficient and effective international action.
Agriculture is a major contributor to anthropogenic climate change, and in turn climate change threatens the viability of food production around the world. The spread of capital- and technology-intensive 'industrial' agriculture in the modern era has been accompanied by an erosion of on-farm genetic diversity, a loss of local knowledge, and the abandonment of traditional farming practices. This undermines our capacity to
adapt to already-changing climatic conditions.
This report highlights the role of small-scale farmers as innovators and custodians of food system diversity, a critical resource in ensuring the realization of the right to food in an era of climate change. Taking an innovation systems perspective, it proposes a new framework for the design of collaborative agricultural research projects and agendas, and notes the need for pro-active policy measures in creating an enabling environment for such partnerships.
The report is available for download free by clicking on the link below.
QUNO New York Director Andrew Tomlinson was invited by the UN Association of China to be a plenary speaker at the Beijing event on 20 July, 2015 celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations.
In May, QUNO New York Director Andrew Tomlinson spoke during a UNITAR Seminar for mid-level UN Diplomats, on the subject of "The Nexus of Reconciliation and Peacebuilding." The Seminar which aimed to familiarize the participants with the principles of reconciliation as a process for peacebuilding, was well attended by representatives from many member state missions.
The presentation during the session stressed that "Reconciliation can be usefully viewed as the process of transforming relationships in divided societies.
It is a multi-generational process, applicable at any level of development, whether societies are marked by violent conflict or not."
The New York office is please to share our most recent Newsletter, featuring articles on the UN Peacebuilding Architecture, the New York Peacebuilding Group, the post-2015 Development Agenda and new staff.
Statement on the political crisis in Burundi by ten Quaker organisations including QUNO New York.
Countries / Regions:
QUNO Geneva have produced a new publication that focuses on the potential of environmental rights agreements to prevent destructive conflict around natural resources. “Building Peace through Principle 10, Access rights and the prevention of environmental conflict”, is a contribution to the ongoing negotiations to conclude a regional agreement for Latin America and the Caribbean on the right to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice, in environmental matters. It uses case studies from the region to illustrate how public participation in decision-making around natural resources contributes not only to sustainable but also to peaceful and equitable development. This publication was sent personally to each of the country delegates, and civil society representatives, to the negotiations in Santiago de Chile.
The risks faced by children of incarcerated parents can be compounded by criminal justice and penal systems that do not take notice of their existence or do not see their rights as relevant considerations. This briefing outlines the current position in regard to international standards pertaining to children of incarcerated parents, bringing together legal instruments, treaty body recommendations and other guidance issued by international bodies. The purpose of this briefing is to promote the recognition of the rights of children of incarcerated parents, to guide States in their domestic consideration of how to ensure the rights of such children and to contribute to improving standards.
As the post-2015 inter-governmental negotiations continue to move towards finalising a new development agenda, we are pleased to bring you an Author's Original Manuscript version of the article "Peace and Post-2015: Into the Home Stretch," that was recently published in the Journal for Peacebuilding and Development. Written by QUNO New York Director and UN Representative, Andrew Tomlinson, the piece reflects on the current state of play of the inclusion of peace issues in the soon to be agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
With the culmination of negotiations in July 2015, and the forthcoming United Nations Summit to adopt the post-2015 development agenda in September 2015, we will continue to work for the inclusion of peace issues in the final agreement. Together with partner organisations from civil society, we recognise this "unique opportunity for those with an interest in fostering peaceful, just and inclusive societies to help both to contribute to the grand vision, and to shape the way in which issues of peace, justice and inclusion are prioritized, implemented and monitored for decades to come."
A paper co-authored by QUNO New York and the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) focused on civil society engagement in the UN's Peacebuilding Architecture (PBA), which includes the Peacebuilding Commission, the Peacebuilding Support Office, and the Peacebuilding Fund. This paper was written as a contribution to the 2015 review of the PBA and is based on interviews with diplomats, UN experts, and civil society in New York as well as field research conducted by local peacebuilders in Burundi, the Central African Republic, and Liberia.
Countries / Regions:
Review of the activities of QUNO in 2014, including:
- Peacebuilding and prevention of violent conflict
- Food and sustainability
- Human impacts of climate change
- Human rights and refugees
- Peace and disarmament
- Developing Middle East issues
- Peace, development and the sustainable development goals
- Natural resources, conflict and cooperation
QUNO delivered an oral statement in the 28th session of the Human Rights Council at the Clustered Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food and the Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing. Susan Bragdon, Representive for our Food & Sustainability programme delivered the statement in response to the report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Hilal Elver.
Text and video (beginning at 00:32:57) of the statement is available below.
QUNO delievered an oral statement in response to the Report of the Independent Expert on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. The oral statement is a joint statement from the QUNO programmes on Natural Resource Conflict and Cooperation, and Climate Change. The statement was delivered by Programme Assistant David Elliott at the 28th Session of the Human Rights Council on the Promotion and Protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development.
Text and video (beginning at 02:37:04) of the statement are available below.
This briefing note summarizes the recommendations and inputs made by civil society representatives from Africa, Asia, and Latin America who participated in a civil society consultation on the UN Peace Operations Review and the UN Peacebuilding Architecture Review organized by the New York Peacebuilding Group (the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict, the International Peace Institute, Interpeace, PAX, Peace Direct, the Quaker United Nations Office, and World Vision) and the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI).
This document, lays out the ways in which conscientious objection has been recognized and is protected under human rights treaties and mechanisms, taking into account developments in international standards that have occurred since 2011.
A German translation of a 2014 version of the document featured in Connection eV (beginning on page 23) is also available below.
In this issue:
- What is an NDC? Elements for a New Climate Agreement
- Drones: Transparency and Protection
- I Belong: Eradicating Statelessness
- Biological Diversity, Food Security and Small-scale Farmers’ Innovation
- Highlights from QUNO New York
- News in Brief
The paper is released as part of our project working towards a New Framework for Trade & Investment in Agriculture, in which we are exploring some of the questions at the heart of defining the purpose, structure and direction of governance of trade and investment in agriculture, in order to place livelihoods, dignity, sustainability, resilience and food security at the heart of the rules governing these areas.
The analysis presented in the paper highlights three points:
- First, it shows that the dominant neoclassical economic arguments for agricultural trade have many caveats that need to be put out in the open and examined in light of food security concerns.
- Second, it shows that current trade theory tends to utilize an outdated notion of food security, and could benefit from a more nuanced understanding of the concept.
- Third, it shows that trade theory and policy tends to prioritize efficiency (in a narrow sense) over other social goals, including ensuring the right to food, the need to preserve livelihoods and to protect the environment.
Given the political importance of these social goals, the paper suggests that we are only likely to see advancement of the dialogue on trade policy and food security once these broader goals are put on equal footing with trade and efficiency concerns.
The current multilateral framework governing international agricultural trade was designed a quarter of a century ago, as part of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Since 2007, however, the situation on world markets for agricultural goods has changed dramatically. The general consensus is that the new features of the global agricultural situation are not adequately reflected in the proposals for the reform of international rules relating to trade and investment in agriculture
QUNO therefore established this programme, working collaboratively towards a New Framework for Trade and Investment in Agriculture (NFTIA) so that trade policies and rules do not trump food security measures and trade is seen as a tool that can support food security in appropriate situations. Following a successful small expert consultation in January 2014, QUNO convened a second such consultation in Geneva on 22-23 May 2014 to advance the work on NFTIA. Present were representatives of State trade delegations, farmers organizations from different parts of the world, and trade and food security experts, academics and researchers.
The following informal report summarizes the discussion and understandings emerging from this consultation, which will inform our NFTIA work going forward.
In this issue:
- A New Framework for Trade and Investment in Agriculture
- Update from the UN Human Rights Council
- QUNO and the UN Climate Summit
- Highlights from QUNO New York
- Peace and Disarmament
- News in Brief
- Briefing Paper: The Aarhus Convention
In an article written for Quaker Earthcare Witness (QEW), QUNO’s Representative for the Human Impacts of Climate Change Programme, Lindsey Fielder Cook, reports from the June negotiations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). She explores some of the challenges, controversies and opportunities that exist at the UNFCCC, the primary multilateral negotiating body responsible for setting the international agenda on climate action.
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