Resources for:

Sustainable & Just Economic Systems

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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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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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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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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December 2021

New Geneva Reporter is available

QUNO's  December 2021 issue of the Geneva Reporter newsletter is available below. This issue includes reflections and updates from QUNO staff who attended COP 26 in Glasgow on November 2021. This issue also provides updates on our programs, Peace and Disarmament (P&D) and Human Rights and Refugees. We also welcome QUNO's new incoming director, Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, and say farewell to our outgoing director, Jonathan Woolley who will retire on 31 December 2021.You can read more about Nozizwe and her vision for QUNO in the Q&A section. 

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December 2021

New Geneva Reporter is available

QUNO's December 2021 issue of the Geneva Reporter newsletter is available below. This issue includes reflections and updates from QUNO staff who attended COP 26 in Glasgow on November 2021. This issue also provides updates on our programs, Peace and Disarmament (P&D) and Human Rights and Refugees. We also welcome QUNO's new incoming director, Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, and say farewell to our outgoing director, Jonathan Woolley who will retire on 31 December 2021.You can read more about Nozizwe and her vision for QUNO in the Q&A section. 

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November 2021

Greening Aid for Trade (Working Paper No. 4 in TESS Series)

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes trade as an essential means of implementation for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Aid for Trade (AfT) is a mechanism which aims to support developing countries in building the capacity and infrastructure so that they can benefit from and engage in trade. AfT is an integral part of the SDG 8, in particular target 8a. on increasing AfT support for developing countries and least developed countries (LDCs). This working paper has benefited from comments shared on a previous draft by a group of various stakeholders to whom we are grateful. These insights were shared at a meeting at Quaker House in Geneva on 28 October 2021. This is a work in progress and we welcome further comments. This is the fourth paper in the series on Trade and Environmental Sustainability, which also includes papers on the topics of circular economy, environmental goods and services, and fossil fuel subsidy reform.

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October 2021

Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform (Working Paper No. 3 in TESS Series)

The purpose of this briefing paper is to provide information on Fossil Fuel Subsidies (FFS) and their relationship with trade and trade rules that can help inform their discussions on possible action at the WTO, in particular in the TESSD. This working paper has benefited from comments shared on a previous draft by a group of various stakeholders to whom we are grateful. These insights were shared at a meeting at
Quaker House in Geneva on 27 September 2021. This is a work in progress and we welcome further comments. This is the third paper in the series on Trade and Environmental Sustainability, which also includes papers on the topics of circular economy, environmental goods and services reform, and greening Aid for Trade.

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September 2021

Geneva Reporter

QUNO's September 2021 issue of the Geneva Reporter newsletter is available below. This issue includes an updates of our work leading up to COP 26 in Glasgow as well as our work on legal arms trade and human rights, trade and sustainability at the WTO, and the HRC and dehumanizing treatment of migrants. Our QUNO Q&A for this issue features an interview with former PA Daniel Cullen.

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September 2021

Environmental Goods and Services (Working Paper No. 2 in TESS Series)

The purpose of this paper is to give an overview of, set out ideas around, and raise questions on the different elements of a deliverable on environmental goods and services (EGS) from the Trade and Environmental Sustainability Discussions (TESSD) in the World Trade Organization (WTO). This work has benefited from collaboration with and support from the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Geneva and from comments shared by a group of various stakeholders at a meeting at Quaker House in Geneva on 2 September 2021. This is a work in progress and we welcome further comments. This is the second paper in the series on Trade and Environmental Sustainability, which also includes papers on the topics of circular economy, fossil fuel subsidy reform, and greening Aid for Trade.

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July 2021

Circular Economy and Trade (Working Paper No. 1 in TESSD Series)

This working paper looks into the circular economy, its linkages with trade, and development and justice concerns related to the circular economy. The paper looks specifically into the potential for cooperation on circular economy in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and in its Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions (TESSD). This work has benefited from collaboration with and support from the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Geneva and from comments shared by a group of various stakeholders at a meeting at Quaker House in Geneva on 24 June 2021. This is a work in progress and we welcome further comments. This is the first paper in the series on Trade and Environmental Sustainability, which also includes papers on the topics of environmental goods and services, fossil fuel subsidy reform, and greening Aid for Trade.

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December 2020

Geneva Reporter

QUNO's December 2020 issue of the Geneva Reporter newsletter is available below. This expanded issue includes a special feature with QUNO perspectives on multilateralism and the UN's 75th anniversary. The issue also features brief news updates, recent publications and a QUNO Q&A with 2014 Quaker UN Summer School participant Annie Pickering.

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October 2020

Geneva Reporter

QUNO's October 2020 issue of the Geneva Reporter newsletter is available below. This expanded issue includes a special feature from our programme Representatives on the impact of Covid on our work and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. This issue also features a Q&A with our 2019-2020 PAs on their experience leading the first ever virtual Summer School; brief news updates and a QUNO Q&A with Beatrice Liese.

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October 2020

Exploring Structural Barriers to Justice and Sustainability in Economic Systems

QUNO Representative for Sustainable and Just Economic Systems Joachim Monkelbaan contributed to the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung publication “Building Back Better: A Call for Courage” with a chapter on “Exploring Structural Barriers to Justice and Sustainability in Economic Systems: The Example of Trade and WTO Transformation.” The piece starts by exploring some global challenges like inequality and climate change, then delves into the root causes of those challenges, and suggests some structural remedies for addressing those root causes (including looking at the role of trade and the WTO). A podcast interview with Joachim discussing his chapter of the publication is also available below.

 

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July 2020

Working Paper: Exploring barriers to justice and sustainability in economic systems

This analysis is a work in progress that has been prepared as a working document by QUNO’s Sustainable and Just Economic Systems programme to help us better understand our theory of change and our actions in the multilateral sphere. It is a synthesis of the present state of QUNO’s insights, aided by the sources that are referenced at the end of the document. Failures and distortions in our economic systems are also among the root causes of problems handled by QUNO’s other three programmes: Human Rights & Refugees; Peace & Disarmament; and Human Impacts of Climate Change.

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May 2020

QUNO Directors' Letter on the Impact of COVID-19

“We hold in the light those made ill by the new virus, their families and friends, and the dedicated people caring for all of us.” (…) “In the midst of rapid change, QUNO staff will continue to work quietly with international policymakers, guided by Quaker principles of peace, truth, justice, equality, stewardship and simplicity, and upheld by your encouragement and support.”

In this letter, the Directors of our New York and Geneva offices reflect on the impact of COVID-19 on peace, multilateralism and Quaker work at the United Nations.

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