The 2019 QUNO Review provides a brief introduction to QUNO and our way of working, as well as an overview of our areas of work. Learn more about our past year of our work and see where we are headed in 2019.
This is a library of QUNO publications, newsletters, and statements. Recent Publications
This edition of A Government Official's Toolkit has been lightly edited and re-organized into a smaller format.
This and the original publication were written to support government officials—at local, regional and national levels—who are concerned about the impact of climate change on their citizens, their country, and the planet. The publication is organized into 12 concise cases, including approaches to effective and sustainable climate action policy. Our aim is to connect you with research available at the international level. All points are quoted from, and linked to, the original, peer-reviewed papers.
This paper presents a legal analysis of the protection of the human rights of children of parents sentenced to death or executed. An earlier legal analysis by the Quaker United Nations Office explored the effects of parental imprisonment on the rights of the child. This analysis does not repeat the points made there regarding the effects on children when a parent is imprisoned, but instead focuses on the particular impact on the rights of the child of a parent’s death sentence or execution.
On 3 December, QUNO NY Director, Andrew Tomlinson, spoke as the only NGO representative on a high-level panel discussion, The place of human rights in a reformed United Nations: A transatlantic human rights dialogue, held at UN headquarters. The panel was convened by Switzerland and Germany as the Co-Chairs of the Human Rights/Conflict Prevention Caucus, the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) and Universal Rights Group (URG).
In his remark, Mr. Tomlinson sought to underscore that the promotion and protection of human rights is both the foundation of peace and security, sustainable development, and conflict prevention, and is the key force to achieving the 2030 Agenda’s aspiration of fostering peaceful, just and inclusive societies. At this meeting, attended by member states and UN colleagues, Mr. Tomlinson reflected that, not only are human rights the backbone to prevention, sustainable peace, and sustainable development, human rights also codify our common humanity, providing the foundation for human dignity and just societies. Human rights, he said, "give us the words to say I see you, I know you, I am you, to every child, woman and man".
The UN derives much of its relevance and legitimacy from its embrace of human rights as an organizing principle and a moral driver. QUNO is honored to have contributed to this, and future, dialogues.
On 10th December 2018, after a two year negotiation process, States formally adopted the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. As an international agreement determined to enhance cooperation on migration policy, the Global Compact provides an unprecedented opportunity to acknowledge that all countries are places of origin, transit and destination, and that States have a shared responsibility in their approach to people on the move.
This briefing paper offers an explanation of the final text, a brief timeline of how it was developed, some suggestions of how Friends can use the document to support their witness and their activism, and a short description of what QUNO’s next steps will be.
Can energy ever be used as a tool for peacebuilding instead of a cause of conflict? What peacebuilding tools are already at our disposal for reducing the likelihood of violent conflict related to energy extraction and natural resource stress related to climate change? This publication explores the role of decentralized renewable energy as a peacebuilding tool, in global efforts for a net-zero carbon energy transition.
QUNO's Decemer 2018 issue of the Geneva Reporter newsletter is available online. The latest issue features: an update from our Human Impacts of Climate Change programme on the IPCC's Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5C; news about a significant sew standard recognizing the impact of parental death sentences on children; highlights from a recent panel discussion on nuclear disarmament; and a QUNO Q&A with Vinay Talwar.
A guide to assist States in the implementation of the Global Compact for Migration. The publication brings together explicit existing recommendations drawn from the UN's Special Procedures and Treaty Bodies presented in line with the Compact's 23 objectives. The intention is that this publication will offer authoritative guidance to assist States in meeting the agreed objectives through practical actions.
This publication is written to support government officials—at local, regional and national levels—who are concerned about the impact of climate change on their citizens, their country, and the planet. The publication is organized into 12 concise cases, including approaches to effective and sustainable climate action policy. Our aim is to connect you with research available at the international level. All points are quoted from, and linked to, the original, peer-reviewed papers.
We hope this Toolkit will help you engage colleagues on why urgent, rights-based climate action is to the benefit of all people. Decision makers face competing demands and priorities, and they may be more receptive to one case over another. One colleague may respond better to climate science, another to economic concerns. For this reason, we offer a range of concise cases.
September 21 marks the International Day of Peace, which was established in 1981 by a unanimous resolution in the UN’s General Assembly. To mark the day, QUNO and over 80 additional peacebuilding organizations from throughout the world issued a statement to United Nations Member States that brings attention to peace concerns.
The statement calls on governments and the international community to:
- Fully embrace the commitments to peace in the 2030 Agenda
- Reaffirm a commitment to human rights, the foundation for human dignity and just societies
- Foster social resilience by strengthening inclusion and addressing inequality
- Think local and act global: recommit to multilateralism as a safeguard for the most vulnerable
- Protect and support civil society in fostering sustainable peace
Read QUNO New York's quarterly newsletter, In & Around the UN, featuring articles on:
- The newly established QUNO Alumni Network (QAN)
- Shared security
- Integrating human rights and sustaining peace
...and more from New York.
This report brings together the learning from a project undertaken from February 2017 to April 2018 to explore the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) as a vehicle for better linking human rights and sustaining peace. The aim of this project was to contribute to overcoming the fragmentation within the United Nations (UN) and promoting the value of integrated action between peacebuilding and human rights actors on the ground and in the UN system by using the UPR to explore present practice and untapped potential within a specific process. This report is intended to provide input to the discussions following the Secretary-General’s Report to the General Assembly on Sustaining Peace1 and to consideration of how to take this work forward in the UN.
This booklet was created to support climate negotiators in their work to engage busy Ministries with reasons for urgent, rights-based climate action. Ministers and other decision makers face competing demands and priorities, but they may also be more receptive to one argument over another. One person may better respond to economic concerns, for example, another to scientific findings. The booklet offers ten concise summaries compiled from expert voices in climate change related sectors. We hope these summaries help negotiators engage with colleagues back home on why urgent, rights-based climate action is critical to the long-term well-being and stability of their countries.
The summaries are based on presentations given by experts at a side event in May 2017, during the climate change conference in Bonn. The Healthier World Argument was compiled following this event. We are thankful to colleagues at Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University and at Newcastle University, for co-hosting this side event in May 2017. Comments are welcome.
This joint publication by the Quaker United Nations Office, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and Lancaster University demonstrates how economic, social and cultural rights can contribute to a sustaining peace approach to peacebuilding. The report is intended to stress the importance of such rights to effective conflict prevention, peace-making, transition and post-conflict peacebuilding. It further seeks to highlight challenges encountered in utilising such rights as part of a sustaining peace approach but also to illustrate developing and good practice through concrete examples and recommendations.
The 2018 QUNO Review provides a brief introduction to QUNO and our way of working, as well as an overview of our areas of work. Learn more about our past year of our work and see where we are headed in 2018.
The International Peace Institute (IPI) and the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO), with support from the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO), convened a half-day workshop on March 16, 2018, to contribute to advancements in, and the ongoing work of, the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) and its membership. The workshop, which included approximately forty participants, provided an off-the-record space for PBC members to continue to strengthen their understanding of peacebuilding, including best practices and lessons learned for policy development; identify strategies and opportunities to build upon progress made in the PBC; address new or ongoing challenges that impact the Commission’s work; and reflect on and identify the capacities needed to strengthen the PBC. The below key issues emerged from the discussion:
1. Peacebuilding must be informed by and maintain a focus on the field, measuring success by impact at the country or regional level. To support this goal, policymakers will benefit from a strengthened practical understanding of factors that foster peace and of how to translate this knowledge into policy and programming.
2. Progress in the PBC, combined with increased attention on the Commission’s work, has reaffirmed its relevance as the central UN body for peacebuilding and the potential of its unique convening power.
3. The PBC’s increasingly flexible working methods, particularly with regards to country situations, provide both opportunities and challenges for countries as they build peace.
4. Recognition of the peace and development nexus needs to result in greater coherence and coordination of peacebuilding policy across the UN system, which can in part be supported by work carried out by the PBC.
5. Sustained financing for short and long-term programming is critical in assisting states to build peace, and more initiative should be taken to explore innovative financing and partnership opportunities.
IPI and QUNO look forward to a continued partnership that will allow our organizations to provide further support to the PBC and its membership by holding a series of strategic and output driven discussions exploring the above-mentioned topics, among others. Our organizations will continue to work with UN and Member State stakeholders to develop and provide a forum for frank discussion on issues related to the PBC’s work, with a focus on innovative thinking, idea sharing and peer-to-peer learning.
Full meeting note is below.
The World Office for the Friends World Committee for Consultation has added a Q&A with Susan Bragdon, Representative, Food & Sustainability on the importance of agricultural biological diversity to human and planetary health to its website containing resources on sustainability. The Q&A ends with concrete actions people can take to help conserve agricultural biological diversity.
The Q&A is available below and on the FWCC website
QUNO New York's quarterly newsletter, featuring articles on:
- Peacebuilding orgs and future challenges
- Letter from the Director
- The role of civil society in conflict prevention
The international community of Friends set up the Quaker UN offices 70 years ago to support the United Nations (UN) in its work to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”.
Recent proposals from the new US administration and from the US Congress to reduce the country’s engagement with the UN could damage its ability to carry out its life-saving work. These proposals include draft Executive Orders and legislation in the House and Senate proposing significant funding cuts and other forms of disengagement with the UN. Building on such legislation, in March, the White House released a proposed budget for 2017 that calls for reductions in financial support to the UN budget and peacekeeping operations, and for the end of support of UN climate change programs.
Global military spending is $1.6 trillion, dwarfing the $8 billion UN peacekeeping budget and total UN-related spending of $48 billion. While the US is the largest financial contributor to the United Nations, its annual total contribution to the UN and its agencies represents only 0.1% of the total Federal Budget. Cuts in US funding would put at risk the UN’s important work to address the most critical and pressing issues facing the world.
While it remains to be seen if or how the various draft bills, draft Executive Orders, and proposed White House budget will move forward, the existence of such measures shows the growing uncertain environment facing the UN and global efforts for peace more broadly.
QUNO has produced the below background document, which will be updated as appropriate, to provide additional information and resources to learn more about this pressing issue.
The New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants was adopted by States in September 2016 and initiated a two-year process to develop two ‘Global Compacts’ aimed at improving States’ response to refugees and migrants. Our briefing paper provides an update on the development of the Global Compact on Migration over the past year and how the process is expected to proceed in 2018. QUNO has been working to support the adoption of a Global Compact on Migration that is ambitious, effective and human rights based. This paper details how QUNO has been working on this issue and how Friends can engage with this process.
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