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

March 2020

In & Around the UN

Read QUNO New York's newsletter, In & Around the UN, featuring articles on:

  • Bridging the Gap between Peace and Human Rights
  • Civil-Society UN Prevention Platform Launches a Discussion Series on Prevention
  • Future of the Peacebuilding Fund

and more from New York.

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February 2020

QUNO co-hosts the third annual civil society briefing with Under-Secretary-General Menéndez

On 4 February, the Civil Society-UN Prevention Platform (the Platform) held its third annual informal, off the record briefing with Under-Secretary-General (USG) and Senior Policy Advisor, Ms. Ana María Menéndez. Ms. Menéndez has played a central role in Secretary-General António Guterres’s focus on prevention since starting the position in June 2017. 

Convening actors across pillars and sectors of the broader UN system and finding channels to bring in outside voices is central to achieving QUNO’s vision. Facilitating strategic discussions between civil society organizations and the UN through co-facilitation of the Platform is one way QUNO works towards this vision. Building on the past annual meetings, this year’s gathering with USG Menéndez provided an opportunity for open and constructive dialogue on how civil society can contribute to the Secretary-General’s prevention agenda in an evolving UN system. 

USG Menéndez briefed civil society on the Executive Office of the Secretary-General’s current approach towards prevention and provided reflections on her office’s work over the past year. She shared insights from her recent trips to visit UN country teams in Asia, Africa, and the Americas, focusing especially on the interactions of UN country and regional teams with civil society. The discussion at Quaker House also provided an opportunity for reflection on the first year of implementation of the UN-wide reforms, which have significantly restructured many aspects of the peace and security, development, and management systems to promote the Secretary-General’s vision for sustainable peace and prevention.  

The Civil Society-UN Prevention Platform, established in 2016, continues to support the commitments made by the Secretary-General to a renewed prevention focus within the UN. We are pleased with Ms. Menéndez’s office’s commitment to meaningful engagement with civil society including through this meeting and during her field visits. The Platform continues to stand ready to assist in whatever way possible to nurture and grow the partnership with her office and will continue to collaborate with the UN and civil society to support inclusive prevention efforts.

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February 2020

QUNO co-hosts first of a series of discussions on Prevention

In February, QUNO was pleased to co-host the launch of the Civil Society-UN Prevention Platform’s  discussion series on prevention. The Platform’s timely discussions aim to support and contribute to building the collective capacity of the UN community in New York and beyond to advance prevention particularly as it relates to the Secretary-General’s vision for prevention.

During the series launch discussion held at Quaker House, civil society, UN colleagues, and member states took stock of the overall field of prevention, collectively considering emerging trends and opportunities for advancing the prevention agenda. The discussion provided reflections on the evolution of the conceptualization and operationalization - the ‘what’ and the ‘how’- of prevention from the UN Charter’s signing in 1945 through today. In addition to highlighting the key role of civil society, speakers addressed several important UN tools and mechanisms for promoting prevention, such as the role of peace and development advisors (PDAs) in country settings, Regional Monthly Reviews at headquarters, human rights mechanisms, coordinating work of the Peacebuilding Commission, the role of regional organizations, and the impact of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Civil Society-UN Prevention Platform aims to support the UN’s prevention agenda through strengthening coordination and information sharing between civil society organizations (CSOs) and the UN at all levels. As co-facilitator of the Platform, QUNO looks forward to the future discussions in this series, which will include topics such as analyzing prevention through the inclusion of youth and women, mediation efforts, and upstream prevention.

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