Areas of Work

Inclusion of Local Perspectives

QUNO seeks to be a bridge between civil society actors in the field and the UN and member states in New York and advocates for the inclusion of  such perspectives in peacebuilding processes. By facilitating visits of civil society and non-governmental organisations engaged in local peacebuilding and prevention activities, as well as through quiet diplomacy, QUNO is working to improve the inclusion of local perspectives at the UN.

Ongoing Activities

  • QUNO hosts informal, off the record discussions on the situation in Burundi and conducts quiet diplomacy with the UN in order to support civil society participation and perspectives in peacebuilding processes including the UN Peacebuilding Commission.

  • QUNO plays a facilitative role bringing civil society leaders from inside Myanmar together with UN staff and diplomats. These informal meetings provide an opportunity for Myanmar peacemaker’s to share local expertise and perspectives on the UN’s role and contribution to long-term peacebuilding and prevention efforts in Myanmar.

  • QUNO's focus on the DRC includes facilitating regular off the record discussions at Quaker House for members of the NGO community in New York and UN experts.

  • We advocate for the inclusion of local perspectives in UN processes on the ground and at UN headquarters

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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June 2020

Strengthening Prevention Tools: Inclusive Approaches to Supporting Mediation

As the fourth meeting in the Civil Society – UN Prevention Platform’s 2020 discussion series on prevention, QUNO co-hosted a discussion, Strengthening Prevention Tools: Inclusive Approaches to Supporting Mediation. The Platform welcomed over 50 global participants from the United Nations (UN), African Union (AU), civil society, and Member States to this lively and informative conversation. Given that mediation processes involve the coordination and participation of multiple actors, this meeting provided a candid space for exchange between participants as they reflected on best practices and remaining challenges for inclusive approaches. 

The discussion highlighted key factors to consider when developing inclusive approaches to mediation, particularly in the COVID-19 pandemic and changing geopolitical environment. During the discussion, civil society, UN colleagues and Member States collectively considered that mediation and peace should be thought of as a ‘building block process,’ cumulative efforts that are multi-tracked and complimentary, rather than just agreements signed around a table. It was agreed that in order for the inclusion of women, youth, and other historically excluded groups to have maximum impact, mediation efforts need to provide explicit strategies and spaces for these voices. Participants noted that the internationalization of conflict and multitude of stakeholders often drowns out local voices. While mediation differs in each conflict, several participants highlighted that it is at the community level that mediation efforts are the strongest. As national level processes often stall out, grassroots mediation provides avenues for prevention, sharing resources, and opportunities to co-exist after a conflict.  

The Civil Society – UN Prevention Platform looks forward to future conversations in the 2020 Prevention discussion series. Learn more about the other discussions in this series below. 

Taking Stock of Prevention: Progress Achieved and Lessons Learned

Dialogue and Mutual Understanding: the Role of Young People in Preventing Conflict

Transformative Gender Approaches to Conflict Prevention During COVID-19

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