Resources

This is a library of QUNO publications, newsletters, and statements. Recent Publications

December 2022

REPORT: "Package-less and Reuse Systems Through Policy Intervention: rethinking packaging in international trade"

With quantities of waste steadily rising worldwide, packaging material and packaging waste have emerged as critical areas for action at various levels. Governments and businesses must consider political risks and ways to anticipate, understand and mitigate them in international trade. 

Over the past decade, governments have continually prioritised waste prevention, based on the Circular Economy waste hierarchy framework: avoidance (i.e. package-less), reuse, recycling, recovery, and disposal. However, waste advocates, regulators, and policymakers have yet to prioritise the top tiers of this circular economy hierarchy (e.g., avoidance promoted by package-less products and implementation of reuse systems).

As interest in reducing plastic waste grows, it becomes increasingly important to ensure that trade policies minimise packaging waste and improve reuse strategies across regions. To spark innovative thinking and valuable discussions on this topic, QUNO has is delighted to present its latest report, which contains a focused analysis of the state of play of the packaging-free retail sector in Latin America, examining policy barriers (in the role of services) affecting the wider uptake of the packaging-free retail models in the region. This work seeks to inform members and complement the work being carried out at the World Trade Organization's Informal Dialogue on Plastics Pollution and Environmentally Sustainable Plastics Trade, and the United Nations Environment Program's Global Plastic Treaty Negotiations.

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December 2022

QUNO Statement at the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution

On Wednesday, 30 November 2022, delegates met in plenary to discuss key topics relating to the creation of a new convention to reduce plastic pollution. This was the third day of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee – first session (INC-1) towards the creation of an international legally binding instrument (ILBI) on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment, taking place in Punta del Este, Uruguay.

Over lunch and into the evening, delegates convened an informal group to discuss options for INC-2 and stakeholder participation. QUNO, on behalf of the Friends World Committee for Consultation, delivered a statement (see below), which outlines various principles that are essential for any future multi-stakeholder engagement under a global instrument.

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December 2022

The "Implementation COP" in a growing climate of accountability: A COP27 Reflection

Human Impacts of Climate Change Representative, Lindsey Fielder Cook reflects on the outcomes of COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh.

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November 2022

Loss and Damage Funding Arrangements Informal Analysis

This is an informal analysis of the decision passed at COP27 on new funding arrangements for addressing loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change. It is offered in the spirit of increasing accessibility and understanding of the text. 

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November 2022

Mainstreaming the Informal Waste Sector Towards an Inclusive Circular Economy in African Cities

QUNO contributed to the substantive finalization of a comprehensive report carried out by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF South Africa), which makes a case for mainstreaming the informal waste sector towards an inclusive circular economy across African cities. The focus was on the work reclaimers and waste pickers do in cities of Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda.

The research supports our mutual aims and outcomes in seeking to establish policy advocacy and action by assessing the significance of an inclusive circular economy across material value chains in the African context. QUNO also contributed to the design and translation (into French) of a factsheet stemming from the full report. The three documents are accessible through links and attachments below. 

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November 2022

COP27 QUNO Statement to the Global Stocktake Technical Dialogue on the Importance of Holistic and Integrated Approaches to International Climate Cooperation

ON 10 November 2022, QUNO Human Impacts of Climate Change representative, Lindsey Fielder Cook, spoke on an expert panel to over 60 country negotiators and civil society at the Global Stocktake Technical Dialogue on international cooperation for holistic and integrated approaches to addressing the climate crisis. Lindsey began by asking the negotiators and civil society to engage from both the head and heart before speaking on what holistic and integrated approaches mean, and then celebrating several recent examples of international cooperation which represent such approaches. Afterwards, Lindsey reflected on holistic and integrated approaches that can dramatically scale up climate action but need greater international cooperation that the Global Stocktake engagement can signal. Several such approaches included rights-based approaches, the importance of sustainable and just economic systems, as well as what real human security, and how the GST can embrace language of responsibility. 

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November 2022

What Does Arctic Science Say About Climate Justice?

As part of the COP27 side event on climate justice in the Arctic co-hosted by QUNO, the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, Friends of the World Consultation Committee, British Yearly Meeting, and Quaker Earthcare Witness, a crysophere expert shared about the latest effects of climate change in the Arctic. Pam Pearson, director of the International Crysophere Climate Initiative, shared the latest cryosphere science, growing losses, and global impacts. Access her powerpoint here. 

"We cannot negotiate with the melting point of ice."

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November 2022

Innovative and Fair Sources of Finance for Loss and Damage - Working Paper

Following the decision at COP27 for new funding arrangements to be established in order to address the loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, QUNO offers this working paper. It is focused on innovative and fair sources of finance for addressing loss and damage. This is a working paper that is open to receiving comments (see end note on how to share comments). It is offered in the spirit of the polluter pays principle without endorsement of any arrangement. 

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October 2022

Statement on the Peace Testimony and Ukraine

In October 2022, QUNO joined representatives from the Friends World Committee for Consultation, Friends Committee on National Legislation, American Friends Service Committee, Canadian Friends Service Committee, the Quaker Council on European Affairs and Quaker Peace and Social Witness in releasing this statement on the Peace Testimony and the ongoing war in Ukraine. 

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September 2022

Geneva Reporter September 2022

QUNO's September 2022 issue of the Geneva Reporter newsletter is available below. This issue includes a welcome letter from our Director Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge and reporting on the International Migration Review Forum from the Human Rights & Refugees team. It also includes updates from our Peace and Disarmament (P&D), Human Impacts of Climate Change (HICC) and Sustainable and Just Economic Systems (SJES) programmes.

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September 2022

Net Zero Submission to the United Nations General Secretary

The following is QUNO’s submission to the United Nations Secretary General’s consultation on "Net Zero", with an emphasis on real transformation of root causes driving climate change, and avoidance of "greenwashing" under some ‘net zero’ approaches.  In particular, the need for rapid reduction and use of fossil fuels for a safer chance to remain within a 1.5C temperature rise limit. Along with highlighting the need for rapid reduction, the submission draws attention to threats in renewable energy investment being sidelined by investment into geo-engineering such as off-sets and carbon capture storage, the latter technology being expensive, not yet available to scale, prone to emission leakage and enabling ongoing fossil fuel extraction and burning activities. This submission draws attention to the actions we can take to achieve net zero emissions and emphasizes the importance of conserving and restoring ecosystems.

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September 2022

FWCC/QUNO Submission to the Katowice Committee of Experts

FWCC/QUNO submitted in September 2022 a report to the Katowice Committee of Experts on the Impacts of the Implementation of Response Measures (KCI). The Committee – which features representatives from each of the five UN regional groups, one member from the least developed countries, one member from the small island developing States and two members from relevant intergovernmental organizations - was established in 2018 to produce work on the impacts – both positive and negative - of responses to climate change taken by different actors. QUNO has been an observer of KCI meetings throughout the course of these years, advocating for responses that take human rights into account.

The reports focuses on best practice approaches to climate action. It also reflects how incorporating the human rights of people in poverty promotes environmental, social, and economic co-benefits of climate change policies. Our input to the KCI was grounded in three principles: what is 1)Fair, 2) Ambitious, and 3) Effective. Observations and examples of good/promising practices were made in the areas of energy; housing; planned obsolescence and life cycle of production; the impacts of transition on employment; and land use, including food waste and diet. 

The materials of the reports have also been shared with the United Nations Rapporteur on the extreme poverty and human rights. 

To read the full submission, click the link below.

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August 2022

Submission to the Human Rights Advisory Committee on human rights abuse concerns related to geo and climate engineering technologies

The following brief was submitted to the Human Rights Advisory Committee in response to a questionnaire on the impact of new technologies for climate protection on the enjoyment of human rights. The submission outlines the human rights abuse concerns linked to geo and climate engineering technologies and includes detailed references to findings from the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) AR6 Report.

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July 2022

What peace means to young people, and how they are building it

In May 2022, QUNO launched a Youth Listening Exercise and activities that focus on strengthening youth inclusion and advocating for United Nations policies that reflect youth identified priorities. This work also seeks to engage with young people globally to discern the direction of QUNO’s work as it relates to the UN’s Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) agenda. The first listening exercise convened young people from across the United States via Zoom. This summary provides insights and reflections on key findings and emergent themes from that consultation.

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June 2022

In and Around the UN

Read QUNO New York's June 2022 newsletter, In and Around the UN, featuring articles on:

  • Understanding the work of the UN: A Q&A on the war in Ukraine
  • Our Common Agenda: A UN for the future
  • Building Peace in Times of Crisis
  • QUNO Launches a Youth Listening Exercise

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April 2022

Funding the “P” in the Nexus

On 27 April diplomats and UN officials will gather for a High-Level meeting at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing financing for peacebuilding. In her piece, UN Representative, Megan Schmidt, brings forward the learning and messages from her report, Building Peace in Times of Crisis, that relate to peacebuilding financing across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus. This includes: ensuring sustainable and flexible UN capacities through funding across the “nexus;” incentivizing financing for programming that is inclusive and meets the needs of communities; and having funding mechanisms that allow staff the flexibility needed to be responsive in complex environments.

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March 2022

QUNO's Interventions at IPCC 55th Session - Impacts , Adaptation, and Vulnerability

The Quaker United Nations Office in Geneva, under the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC), is the only accredited faith-based observer organisation actively engaged at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  From 14-27 February, the IPCC held an intergovernmental meeting to finalise a Summary for Policy Makers (SPM) of its report, Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. This is the second of three sections completing the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), which collates the latest climate science – what is happening, why, and what we can do to transform human activities driving global heating - and involves hundreds of scientists worldwide and thousands of peer-reviewed studies. Once approved by governments, IPCC reports have been used by citizens to in turn hold their governments to account for insufficient action on climate change.  During the IPCC meeting, Lindsey Fielder Cook, Representative for the Human Impacts of Climate Change at QUNO Geneva, made 29 interventions on behalf of FWCC.  Her interventions can be read in the attached document below.

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March 2022

The Crisis in Ukraine: A brief UN overview

Following weeks of speculation and intelligence reports, the Russian government initiated new military operations in Ukraine beginning on 24 February. This military attack has had immediate far-reaching impacts, sparked a massive humanitarian crisis, and raised serious concern about potential ecological damage. On the global stage, a range of actions have been taken in response, including measures within the United Nations (UN). This document provides brief details on the response by specific UN bodies thus far and does not include information on all actions taken by UN entities or individual Member States. A letter by the Directors of QUNO’s Geneva and New York offices accompanied the release of this document and can be read here.

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February 2022

QUNO joins submission to the Katowice Committee of Experts on the Impacts of the Implementation of Response Measures

The Human Impacts of Climate Change programme jointly made a submission to the UNFCCC’s Katowice Committee of Experts on the Impacts of the Implementation of Response Measures (KCI), working alongside colleagues from the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA). The Committee – which features representatives from each of the five UN regional groups, one member from the least developed countries, one member from the small island developing States and two members from relevant intergovernmental organizations - was established in 2018 to produce work on the impacts – both positive and negative - of responses to climate change taken by different actors. QUNO has been an observer of KCI meetings throughout the course of these years, advocating for responses that take human rights into account.

The submission focused on the transition from fossil fuels-based energy consumption to renewable energy, advocating for a just energy transition in which resources are mobilised in such a way that reduces inequality and guarantees human rights. Specifically, the paper outlined the negative impacts on human rights of large-scale renewable energy projects that fail to consider their impact on the local communities and environment where they are being built. The paper discusses the alternative decentralised renewable energy systems (DRE), as an existent model for energy transitioning that is human rights compliant.  

The authors write that “[the climate response] requires costs, as well as benefits, to be fairly distributed to ensure the decarbonization of our energy system does not further exacerbate or entrench existing inequalities.” This submission aligns with QUNO’s ongoing advocacy for a climate response that is human rights-centred and which ensures climate justice.  

To read the full joint submission, click below.

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