How We Work

QUNO often works behind the scenes, building trust by bringing together people from a range of backgrounds including diplomats, UN officials, staff of non-governmental organizations, academics, experts and practitioners. By creating space for quiet dialogue, we help shape UN and other international priorities, and we bring attention to issues that are not yet on the international agenda. The reputation and atmosphere of our Quaker Houses allows for the emergence of more reflective and inclusive responses to difficult issues; ideas which might not be heard in more formal settings. The scale of international negotiations can feel challenging, but the trusting environment we provide, informed by Quaker methods, remains key to our work. 

The strength of QUNO’s work also lies in our long-term persistence. Through perseverance, we have helped to change attitudes, create new understandings, and develop new standards. For example, our work on child soldiers led to the topic being put on the UN agenda for the first time. Through our attention to disarmament, landmines and small arms issues, we have underlined the destabilizing impact of the weapons of war. We have helped shape UN priorities for peacebuilding on the ground, upholding the value of reconciliation and dialogue across all societies. Our work on the Sustainable Development Goals led to a global and universal commitment to foster peace, justice and inclusion as a fundamental component of humanitarian and development objectives. 

QUNO also produces an extensive range of specialist publications. We are recognized as a catalyst, partnering with others to harness their expertise and knowledge, particularly from beyond the UN system, and bringing these insights to the attention of policymakers, often providing it in a more accessible form. We have leading expertise on many areas including peacebuilding, conscientious objection to military service, and the situation of women prisoners and children of prisoners. In our work on climate justice and food security we bring attention to the human impacts, stressing the importance of equity and sustainability. Our recent publications are available here