QUNO History

Carrying forward the Quaker traditions of patient, quiet diplomacy at the United Nations and working for a more peaceful and just world.
March 2016

QUNO Geneva backs junior staff pay campaign

Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) Geneva is pleased to lend its support to the aims of the ‘We Pay Our Interns’ initiative, recently instituted by a group of Geneva-based non-governmental organizations.

While QUNO has chosen not to employ interns, we do instead provide annual Programme Assistant posts, which provide a year-long, paid and structured development opportunity for junior professionals.

QUNO particularly supports the principle of Articles 2 and 3 of the We Pay Our Interns Charter, which requires its member organisations to provide adequate levels of payment for junior staff, and to ensure a selection process free from discrimination of any kind. Further information about this campaign is available at: http://www.wepayourinterns.org

We are now accepting applications for three Programme Assistant vacancies for the 2016-17 period, working on Human Rights and Refugees, Peacebuilding and Climate Change, and Food and Sustainability. More information on these posts is available here.

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September 2013

New research on peaceful societies launched at Quaker House in New York

Together with the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) and the United Nations Inter-Agency Framework Team for Preventive Action, QUNO hosted the New York launch of IEP’s new study “Pillars of Peace”, with Mr Steve Killelea AM, Founder and Executive Chair, on 27 September 2013. This new research sets out to understand and measure the attitudes, institutions and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies. Read more and download the report.


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Event of Note
June 2013

QUNO One of World's 100 Most Influential Actors in Armed Violence Reduction

In the category of NGO and not-for-profit leaders, QUNO Directors Andrew Tomlinson and Jonathan Woolley have been named by Action on Armed Violence as among the world’s 100 most influential actors in armed violence reduction.


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May 2012

Swarthmore Lecture by Rachel Brett

Rachel Brett delivered the Swarthmore lecture at Britain Yearly Meeting on 26 May. Entitled Snakes and Ladders, it described Quaker work on human rights at the United Nations.

This work has brought real change for many, including conscientious objectors and child soldiers. The Swarthmore Lectureship, established in 1907, provides for the publication of a book as well as the public lecture. For information about the book and how to order it please email us at quno@quno.ch.

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January 2012

Backhouse Lecture by David Atwood

Former QUNO Director David Atwood, who retired in 2011, presented the Backhouse Lecture at Australia Yearly Meeting describing his work seeking disarmament and peace at the UN over many years. We are grateful to Australian Quakers for making available the book published to accompany his lecture.

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Event of Note
January 1999

Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention

We facilitated the adoption of a key international legal instrument to address child soldiers in 1999:  The prohibition of military use of children in the International Labour Organisation’s Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (No. 182).

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Event of Note
January 1998

Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers

We helped to found the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, an international organization that seeks to end the use of child soldiers, advocate for the release of unlawfully recruited children, promote their successful reintegration into civilian life, and call for accountability for those who unlawfully recruit or use them.

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September 1989

Burmese Diplomatic Meetings

QUNO hosts the leadership of the Burmese democratic opposition at Quaker House in quiet one-on-one meetings with country representatives and UN agency staff.

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September 1988

QUNO supports work of NGOs in Cambodia

Quaker House luncheons introduce the work of NGOs in
Cambodia, including that of several Friends service bodies, leading to incorporation of a Quaker perspective in UN peace plan.

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February 1988

North and South Korean diplomatic meeting

From 1998-2001, Quaker House was the location for a series of meetings on peace in Korea, with North and South Korean diplomats meeting one at a time with a Quaker committee on Korea.

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