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

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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April 2020

Towards a people-centered and sustainable approach to COVID-19

The UN was born out of the global crisis of the second world war. Now, 75 years later, another crisis faces us. How can we both reaffirm the Charter commitment to collective action and bring to this crisis the lessons we have learned about offering integrated support in partnership with the communities we accompany, leaving no one behind?

QUNO New York recently affirmed a strategic plan focused on sustainable and people-centered strategies for peace, both long-term and in responding to crisis. With the global disruption from COVID-19, this recent work may provide some initial ideas that can be impactful as the UN and its membership seeks to respond to this ongoing crisis. Key messages in this statement include:

  • Align crisis response with longer term development and peace efforts
  • Prioritize inclusion in analysis, planning, and decision-making
  • Support calls to choose compassion over violence
  • Reaffirm multilateralism and international norms as a safeguard for the most vulnerable
  • Notice, reflect, and build back better

See the full statement here.

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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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