Areas of Work

High Level Policy Engagement

Complementing its work on specific themes and countries, QUNO also engages in broader policy debates on the shape and future of peacebuilding and the prevention of violent conflict at the UN.  QUNO frequently works with leaders in peacebuilding practice around the world to bring their experience to inform UN policymaking.  QUNO is often asked to speak at both public and informal events, and will also occasionally comment publicly on subjects of particular importance to Friends.

Ongoing Activities

  • QUNO partners with a wide network of peacebuilding practitioners and think tanks around the world, bringing their expertise to inform UN debate. Combining practitioner experience with the perspectives of local voices from conflict-affected communities helps to broaden the discussion at the UN and root it in the reality of the lives of those affected by violence.
  • Since 2012, QUNO has engaged with the high-level UN discussion around the role of peace and stability in sustainable development and the successor framework to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
  • QUNO is a founding member of the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform (GPP), together with the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP), and Interpeace. The platform aims to build bridges between International Geneva, the United Nations peacebuilding architecture in New York, and peacebuilding activities in the field. It facilitates interaction on peacebuilding between different institutions and sectors, and seeks to advance new knowledge and understanding of peacebuilding issues and contexts.
  • From time to time, QUNO engages with emerging issues and situations where its constituents are looking for information and insight on UN perspectives. For example, QUNO New York has followed the bid for Palestinian Statehood at the UN and has issued various resources on the topic.

Recent Timeline Events

June 2020

QUNO and GPPAC submit recommendations for the UN Peacebuilding Architecture Review

2020 marks fifteen years since the creation of the Peacebuilding Architecture at the United Nations (UN), which includes the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) and the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO). This UN architecture was created after recognizing that there were no dedicated bodies or funding to support and accompany countries emerging from and rebuilding after conflict.  

Every five years the UN undertakes a review of the architecture and the system’s work to build sustainable peace, including in fragile and conflict affected states. The reviews provide an opportunity to assess progress and impact for peacebuilding, identify remaining challenges and set the UN's peacebuilding priorities for the coming years.  

QUNO, in partnership with the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), submitted a set of recommendations and key messages to inform and influence the 2020 review. The submission built upon our past work with GPPAC, including the publication of our reports, Filling the Gap and Building Sustainable Peace. Focusing on the topics of structural and operational partnerships, financing for peacebuilding and operational and policy coherence, this joint document was sent to UN and Member State colleagues to support the review and the longer-term work of the Peacebuilding Architecture. We look forward to working with our UN colleagues to explore how to implement the recommendations and support the continued advancement of the United Nations’ ability to build and sustain peace.

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June 2020

QUNO submits recommendations on reconciliation for UN Peacebuilding Architecture Review

2020 marks a milestone year for the United Nations (UN) as it approaches the fifteenth anniversary of the creation of the Peacebuilding Architecture. Comprised of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) and the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO), this combined architecture is dedicated to supporting countries emerging from violent conflict as they seek to identify and implement priorities to build and sustain peace. 

Every five years the UN undertakes a review of the architecture and takes stock of the system’s progress in peacebuilding and sustaining peace, including in fragile and conflict affected settings. The reviews provide an opportunity to assess progress and impact for peacebuilding, identify remaining challenges and set the UN’s peacebuilding priorities for the coming years. 

To inform and influence the 2020 Peacebuilding Architecture Review, QUNO submitted the policy brief, Building Peace through Reconciliation, which builds upon QUNO’s long-standing history of exploring the topic of reconciliation in peacebuilding. The document focuses on three key areas, namely: the definitional challenges of reconciliation; reconciliation and the Peacebuilding Architecture; and key messages.  

QUNO looks forward to working with UN and Member State partners to further explore the messages and ideas in the document and to find ways to partner with and support colleagues in our shared effort to build and sustain peace.

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May 2020

QUNO Directors’ Letter on the Impact of COVID-19

Dear Friends,

The spread of COVID-19 has changed our world. We hold in the light those made ill by the new virus, their families and friends, and the dedicated people caring for all of us. Our hearts go out to the millions of people who are suffering as societies struggle to respond, including those who have lost their livelihoods and the most vulnerable among us.

As we write at the start of May 2020, much is still unclear. Yet, as we work every day with our UN colleagues and partners as they grapple with the operational and policy demands of a new global crisis, we find that the insights and values that have shaped QUNO’s work since the founding of the United Nations 75 years ago continue to support and guide our efforts in ways that remain relevant and effective.

Most clear is the urgent need to strengthen and increase support for the mechanisms of international cooperation, which serve to safeguard the most vulnerable in all our communities. In the face of global challenges, it is imperative to find more ways to come together to work on global solutions, despite restrictions. In the face of a crisis of this scale, our interdependence is self-evident and essential.  As Quakers, our deep faith in the value of every individual inspires our work.

While the physical circumstances of QUNO’s daily actions have altered, the motivation and need for our work is unchanged. Around the world, people are striving to build communities based on peace, justice and inclusion, and this work deserves the support of a rules-based international system that protects and fosters these efforts. In the midst of rapid change, QUNO staff will continue to work quietly with international policymakers, guided by Quaker principles of peace, truth, justice, equality, stewardship and simplicity, and upheld by your encouragement and support.

In Friendship,

Andrew Tomlinson                                       Jonathan Woolley

Director, QUNO New York                           Director, QUNO Geneva

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