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

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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January 2020

QUNO and the UN Peacebuilding Support Office host a conversation on the Peacebuilding Fund investment plan

The UN Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund (PBF), launched in 2006 and managed by the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO), is the United Nations’ financing tool and investor of first resort in countries emerging from or at risk of descending into violent conflict. Through its programming, the PBF supports peacebuilding processes, addresses crucial gaps to build peace, and provides rapid resources when support may not yet be available from other funding mechanisms.  

Gathering at Quaker House, QUNO, in partnership with PBSO, convened a consultation with civil society organizations on the PBF’s upcoming Investment Plan for 2020-2024. The Plan will serve as the strategy for the Fund over the next five years as the PBF seeks to mobilize 1.5 billion USD for peacebuilding. 

The discussion, which included participation from civil society from throughout the world, provided a unique opportunity to learn about the priorities of the upcoming Investment Plan. Participants, many of whom are implementing PBF projects, shared their experience and ideas on how the Fund can strengthen its peacebuilding impact, including through continued partnerships with civil society. A number of key themes emerged in the discussion, including how PBF projects can better support conflict prevention; what trends may face peacebuilding over the next five years; how lessons learned from PBF projects can better inform peacebuilding going forward; and what more can be done to strengthen partnerships with civil society to build sustainable peace.  

QUNO looks forward to continuing to work with PBSO and our civil society colleagues as the Investment Plan is finalized and released in 2020. 

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