Timeline

Peace & Disarmament

QUNO’s peace and disarmament work in Geneva recognizes the relationship between peace, development and the environment.
January 2016

QUNO contributes chapter to new Elsevier publication on Land Degradation

Working as a consultant for QUNO Geneva, Lynn Finnegan, with assistance from Diane Hendrick, has authored a chapter entitled “All Voices Heard: A Conflict Prevention Approach to Land and Natural Resources” in the newly-published book Land Restoration: Reclaiming Landscapes for a Sustainable Future, edited by Ilan Chabay, Martin Frick and Jennifer Helgeson.

This chapter demonstrates the ways in which the unsustainable, exclusive, and top-down management of land can serve to exacerbate underlying tensions and inequalities already present in the structures of a society and thereby lead to destructive conflict. The chapter goes on to provide illustrations of instances in which it was possible to prevent destructive conflict and build peace, by ensuring that land management and policy accounted for the needs and aspirations of all concerned groups and people.  

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November 2015

Geneva Peace Week

QUNO, as one of the four partners of the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform (together with Interpeace, the Centre for Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding of the Graduate Institute, and the Geneva Centre on Security Policy), supported Geneva Peace Week 2015, which in its second year, served as the umbrella for 41 events organized by 50 institutions. The Main Programme was developed collaboratively between the UN Office in Geneva, the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform (GPP), organizations based in the Maison de la Paix, and the University of Geneva. The Side Events Programme included a diverse set events organized by Permanent Missions, International Organizations, and non-governmental organizations in consultative status with ECOSOC. Geneva Peace Week encouraged event partnerships across institutions and sectors and was also enriched by the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights and UNCTAD Global Entrepreneurship Week, both of which were taking place during the same period.

For more information on 2015's Peace Week programme, please click on the following link: http://www.gpplatform.ch/geneva-peace-week-16-20-november-2015

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November 2015

QUNO highlights conflict sensitivity in business during Geneva Peace Week

QUNO and AFSC, with the support of the Peace Nexus Foundation, organised an event at the Palais des Nations on “Conflict Sensitivity in Business: Experiences from China and Southeast Asia” as part of Geneva Peace Week 2015. The event provided a platform for a senior Chinese business representative, as well as Cambodian and international NGO representatives, to speak about their efforts to work together to mitigate conflict around investments in Southeast Asia. The event was moderated by Jason Tower, East Asian International Affairs Representative for AFSC in Beijing. 

For more information on this event, please see the flyer attached below.

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November 2015

Bringing constructive examples to the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights

QUNO, together with the Centre for Peacebuilding (swisspeace) and the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR), held a side event at the 4th UN Forum on Business and Human rights, on 16 November 2015. This event focused on the “Human Rights Implications of Large-Scale Land Investments and Constructive Responses”. Former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier de Schutter, spoke on preliminary findings and initial reflections of a draft report produced for ICAR, Global Witness and Oxfam on Land, corruption and human rights. QUNO arranged for Sin Sokhomony from the NGO Forum on Cambodia to speak on the experience of engaging with Chinese investors around land issues, drawing on project experience with the American Friends Service committee (AFSC).

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June 2015

QUNO co-hosts panel event on promoting conflict sensitive business practice

QUNO and the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform and hosted "Promoting conflict sensitive business practice - Reflections on experience," a lunch-time panel discussion on civil society efforts to engage business on the impacts of investment on conflict and changing approaches of Northeast Asian business stakeholders, particularly from China. 

The event was moderated by Diane Hendrick, QUNO's Representative for Peace and Disarmament, and speakers included Jason Tower, a Quaker International Affairs Representative in Beijing, and Andreas Graf, Program Officer with swisspeace.

Further details on the event are available in the PDF document below.

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May 2015

Negotiations on Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration

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.

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February 2015

QUNO particpates in Fifth Meeting of the Aarhus Task Force on Public Participation in Decision Making on Environmental Matters

Fifth Meeting of the Aarhus Task Force on Public Participation credit:Noah Berger Photography

QUNO participated in the fifth meeting of the Aarhus Convention Task Force on Public Participation in Decision-Making on Environmental Matters from 23 to 24 February 2015. Entering into force in December 2001, the Aarhus Convention provides the publics of signatory states with a number of procedural rights with respect to the environment, including the right to access information, the right of participation, and the right to justice. The Fifth Task Force gathered state and civil society representatives at the Palais de Nations with the aim of facilitating discussions about the chief challenges to effective public participation, allowing for the exchange of good practices, and proposing potential methods for the strengthening of public participation in relation to environmental matters. Acknowledging the negative impact of local capacity deficits on public participation, QUNO’s Diane Hendrick gave a presentation, highlighting the value of peacebuilding approaches in increasing environmental awareness and building capacity in order to provide stakeholders with the ability to engage in more meaningful and effective participation in environmental decision-making.

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May 2014

UN Commission on Crime Prevention & Criminal Justice (CCPCJ): Elimination of Violence against Children

QUNO welcomes the CCPCJ adoption of the United Nations Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence against Children in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, whose scope includes children of incarcerated parents.

The Model Strategies and Practical Measures are intended to help States in developing integrated strategies for violence prevention and child protection. In summation, they consider that the justice system has a complementary role to the child protection, social welfare, health and education sectors, in creating a protective environment and in preventing and responding to violence against children.
 

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May 2014

Revision of the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners

The UN Standard Minimum Rules on the Treatment of Prisoners (SMRs) are the reference for national authorities on how prisoners should be treated. However, they were adopted in the 1950s and, though good, need updating. In our work, QUNO has identified a need for reviewing the SMRs, and supports the ongoing process for revision. Since the adoption of the SMRs, new standards relating to the treatment of prisoners have been developed, including relevant human rights treaties. In 2010, the SMRs were supplemented by Rules specifically focussed on women prisoners (known as the Bangkok Rules) in whose development QUNO was involved. More recently, a process started to update the SMRs themselves.

The UN Commission on Crime Prevention & Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) has agreed to extend the mandate to revise the Standard Minimum Rules (SMRs) for the Treatment of Prisoners (SMR). The CCPCJ maintained the commitment that any changes must not lower existing standards. An expert meeting will be convened, probably in the Autumn, to continue to revise the SMRs, with the involvement of non-governmental organizations, like the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC). 
 

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May 2014

UN Commission on Crime Prevention & Criminal Justice: Side-event on the wider impacts of the death penalty

In May, QUNO attended the annual UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) in Vienna with other representatives from the Friends World Committee for Consultation (Quakers). At the CCPCJ, FWCC co-sponsored a side-event with Amnesty International and Penal Reform International on the wider impacts of the death penalty. Rachel Brett drew attention specifically to the children of parents who have been sentenced to the death penalty. 

At this event, QUNO screened a new video on children of parents sentenced to death, which was prepared with the Child Rights Connect Working Group on Children of Incarcerated Parents. We also launched a new publication, entitled Children of Parents Sentenced to the Death Penalty or Executed: Developments, Good Practices and Next Steps. 

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March 2014

Judge quotes QUNO’s work in British Columbia Supreme Court judgement, Inglis v. British Columbia

In December, The Supreme Court in British Columbia, Canada, overturned a decision to close the mother and baby unit at Alouette Correctional Centre for Women, on the grounds that it violated the rights of both the mothers and the babies. In the judgement, Justice Ross quoted QUNO’s publication Collateral Convicts, by Oliver Robertson. In addition, one of the experts cited the Kyiv Declaration on Women’s Health in Prison, in which QUNO and other Friends were involved. 

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October 2013

Geneva Reporter, July-October 2013

Read QUNO Geneva's newsletter for the period July to October 2013. Features stories:

  • Children of parents sentenced to death or executed
  • New framework for trade and investment in agriculture
  • Conscientious objection to military service
  • New energy on nuclear disarmament
  • Highlights from QUNO New York

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