On 19 June, the Quaker UN Representative for the Prevention of Violent Conflict Program, Rachel Madenyika, made a statement on behalf of the Civil Society - UN Prevention Platform. The event was attended by the Member States, UN actors, and Civil Society representatives. The Quaker UN Office was the only civil society organisation formally asked to speak at this event, organized by the UNDP-DPA Joint Programme on Building National Capacities for Conflict Prevention (the Joint Programme), which works to develop and implement conflict prevention initiatives in 45 different countries.
This is a library of QUNO publications, newsletters, and statements. Recent Publications
Our New York office is happy to share our most recent Newsletter, "In & Around the UN," featuring articles on our recent visit to the Middle East; QUNO's participation in the Women's March; reflections on Somali refugees, and more.
This paper presents examples of implementation, monitoring and accountability mechanisms under six multilateral agreements that we believe can be learnt from in considering how to achieve an effective global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration. The examples draw on a range of international agreements from different areas of policy and range from long-standing UN mechanisms to very recent agreements for which the specific means of implementation are still under negotiation. This paper hopes to assist stakeholders in considering some of the potential options for effective implementation of this new international agreement.
This paper is part of QUNO’s paper series, “Towards a Human Rights Based Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration,” a set of contributions to the global compact on migration process. To access these papers, please see this section of our website.
The Committee on the Rights of the Child has provided interpretation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and guidance to States on the issue of children of incarcerated parents for over ten years. This briefing provides a short summary of the work it has done so far.
On a recent visit to Beirut, Andrew Tomlinson, Director of QUNO New York, was invited to offer some reflections on reconciliation to a group of experts engaged in regional humanitarian and development action.
The presentation emphasized that reconciliation is a multi-generational process, that it is applicable wherever there are divided societies (at any level of development), that it has as much to do with prevention as it does with post conflict recovery, with the future as much as the past. Furthermore, while reconciliation is intimately connected with structural issues of inclusion and social justice in the longer term, at any one point in time the key is often to identify practical and realistic actions that, while consistent with the longer term ends, can move ahead irrespective of the ebb and flow of the larger political dynamics, and that such approaches can usefully combine the application of a restorative lens to a wide range of humanitarian, development, and commercial actions.
QUNO is closely following the process for negotiating a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. This process part of the UN’s response to the large numbers of people on the move around the world. The Global Compact was mandated by the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, a high-level statement adopted by States on 19th September and is due to be adopted in September 2018.
Following the adoption on 6 April of General Assembly resolution 71/280 on the modalities for developing a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, QUNO has prepared a short paper on expectations of the process. This contains the steps which we believe are needed to support the adoption of a human rights based Global Compact (as called for in the New York Declaration and the modalities resolution).
QUNO’s previous paper on the Compact, on input to the modalities resolution, is here.
QUNO has prepared a written statement for the 34th session of the Human Rights Council, highlighting that the sentencing to death or execution of a parent leads to a violation of the child’s right to be free from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment (CIDT) or torture under international law. The statement outlines the severe impact of the death penalty on children, specific death penalty situations where there is robust evidence of a violation, as well as recommendations for States and the UN.
On 14th March, there will be a High-Level Panel on the death penalty, looking at how it relates to the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. We will also be presenting an oral statement during this discussion.
On March 31, 2017, QUNO’s Food & Sustainability and Peace and Disarmament Programmes, submitted a joint contribution to Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Ms. Hilal Elver’s upcoming report on the Right to Food in humanitarian contexts. In its contribution, QUNO emphasizes the central role of small-scale farmers, agricultural biodiversity, and informal systems for resilience and ultimately for making the humanitarian food response system more adaptive.
The March 2017 edition of our annual QUNO Review is now available for download. The annual report provides a brief introduction to QUNO and our way of working, as well as an overview of each of our programme areas. Learn more about our past year of our work and see where we are headed in 2017.
On March 31, 2017, QUNO’s Food & Sustainability Programme, submitted a written contribution to the Berlin Charter on rural development and food security. In its contribution, QUNO emphasizes, among other, the central role of small-scale farmers as agents of change and the opportunity of the Sustainable Development Goals to provide for an integrative approach to rural development.
In March 2017, QUNO’s Food & Sustainability Programme published the call to action paper entitled The Time is Ripe for Governments to Strengthen Sustainable and Food-Secure Farming. This paper was written as a result of discussions held during an expert consultation in November 2016 on the role of the public sector in supporting small-scale farmers and agricultural biodiversity and is a product of contributions made by all participants.
This policy brief offers information on (1) small-scale farmer representation in international discussions related to food and nutrition security, innovation, climate change, human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals; on (2) the challenges in ensuring such representation; and on (3) the need for guidelines or lessons to help countries identify and ensure the full spectrum of small-scale farmer interests have an adequate and effective voice in negotiating processes and in project proposals. Finally, the brief concludes by making six recommendations for how multilateral institutions that host negotiations or dialogues can encourage and facilitate the participation of small-scale farmers.
This paper, discusses the access and benefit-sharing (ABS) agreements established by the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, the Convention on Biological Diversity, or the Nagoya Protocol. In doing so, Susan H. Bragdon argues that ABS regimes are, and will continue to be, insufficient for generating the benefit necessary to support the innovative activities of small-scale farmers in conserving, managing, and actively developing the majority of the world’s plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA). After a thorough discussion on why small-scale farmers and PGRFA on-farm and in situ are critical to food and nutrition security and to the resilience and sustainability of agricultural systems, she goes on to maintain that a rights-based approach supported by governments nationally and internationally open broader possibilities of predictable, stable support. She concludes by noting that increased private sector interest in agriculture and food systems is reason for equally vibrant governments acting in the public interest.
This publication explores the concerns driving relevant international instruments with the goal of increasing the understanding needed to achieve coherence and mutual support. Susan H. Bragdon notes the central role inequity plays both amongst the treaties and instruments discussed in this paper as well as in the broader international legal landscape that includes human rights and trade agreements. To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals requires understanding of the broader context within which biological diversity related agreements are situated and the real or potential impacts resulting from the different legal regimes. The paper therefore concludes with suggestions on how to create a system that supports the critical role that agricultural biodiversity plays in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
QUNO's Human Rights & Refugees, Food & Sustainability, and Peace & Disarmament programmes each submitted written statements to the 34th session of the Human Rights Council, held in Geneva in March 2017. The full statements are available in PDF below and further information on QUNO's participation at the 34th HRC can be found at the following links:
Child Rights Connect's Working Group on Children of Incarcerated Parents has produced a series of recommendations for States on the rights of children of prisoners.
On September 19th 2016, the UN set a new agenda under the ‘New York Declaration’ for responding to large movements of people crossing borders. Our briefing aims to inform Friends about the Declaration and the developments it initiates for improving global governance on refugees and migrants. It also describes how QUNO is engaging in these opportunities, as well as ways that Quakers around the world can link up with, and benefit from, UN level initiatives.
On September 19th 2016, the UN set a new agenda under the ‘New York Declaration’ for responding to large movements of people crossing borders. Our briefing aims to inform Friends about the Declaration and developments it initiates. It also describes how QUNO is engaging in these opportunities, as well as ways that Quakers around the world can link up with, and benefit from, UN level initiatives.
"If we are to faithfully work for peace, justice and inclusion, then we must ourselves act peacefully, justly and inclusively"
On 23 January, 2017, the QUNO New York Director was a speaker at the Third Annual Symposium on the Role of Religion and Faith-Based Organizations in International Affairs, on the topic of "Just, Inclusive and Sustainable Peace".
Governments and other development actors made ground-breaking commitments to fostering peace under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: the challenge now lies in implementation.
The QUNO intervention set out what will be needed:
- Normatively, to stay focused on the core issues, the heart of sustainable peace
- At a local and national level, to uphold inclusive national planning, implementation and reporting
- At a global level, to foster external support for peace, justice and inclusion, and
- At home and in our own organizations, to reflect critically on our own processes and actions
Video of the presentation can be found here, starting at minute 28:25.
QUNO is actively contributing to the process for negotiating a Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. This UN-level process is a major State-led response to the large numbers of people on the move around the world. It was mandated by the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, a high-level statement adopted by States on 19th September and will be finalised in 2018.
As States work towards drafting a resolution on the Modalities of this State-led process, QUNO has compiled an inputs paper which focusses on ensuring the human rights grounding (and compliance) of the Compact and the central role of civil society in the process.
This inputs paper makes several recommendations including:
- Including human rights as a key message that cuts across thematic and regional consultations, and that this focus is grounded in existing international human rights law.
- Using the Human Rights Council and other human rights mechanisms and expertise to make substantive contributions to the development of the Global Compact.
- Ensuring a central role for civil society (including migrants themselves) throughout the process.
- Creating informal discussion spaces alongside the formal negotiations, as based on previous successful negotiations processes.