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.
This is a library of QUNO publications, newsletters, and statements. Recent Publications
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.
QUNO's December 2017 issue of the Geneva Reporter newsletter features: a brief overview on our recent work on sustaining peace and food security, a introduction to the importance of agricultural biodiversity, developments on the right to conscientious objection to military service, news about our recent climate action publication "A Negotiator's Tookit," and a QUNO Q&A with 2006 Geneva Summer School participant Tankiso Phori.
The full publication is available below.
The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration must be grounded in international human rights law. This is the central message of a new paper produced by a group of Geneva-based non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who are interested in a human rights-based response to migration at the UN level. QUNO convenes this informal group of NGOs, with a particular focus on ensuring a human rights basis to this new international agreement on migration, which is due to be adopted in 2018.
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 eight 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. This booklet is a working draft, and comments are welcome.
QUNO's Human Impacts of Climate Change programme briefly summarizes the latest climate science ahead of the COP 21 climate change negotiations taking place in Paris in December 2015.
A "Quaker Statement on Climate Change" has been signed by a large number of Quaker organizations, having been distributed to all Yearly Meetings across the world. The Statement recognizes the personal and collective responsibility to respond to anthropogenic climate change and calls for fair, sufficient and effective international action.
Read it by following the document link below.
The processes to towards two new international agreements, ‘global compacts’, on refugees and migrants are now well underway and as part of the consultation phases, anyone is welcome to submit written information relevant to with or both of the global compacts. We are aware that many Friends are involved in activities on these issues, but we do not have the full breadth and depth, so we encourage you to share your experiences of your work with refugees and migrants. The attached short document explains how you can submit information to the global compacts, and what sort of information would be most useful.
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 131 peacebuilding organizations from throughout the world issued a statement to United Nations Member States that brings attention to peace concerns.
As noted by QUNO NY’s Director, Andrew Tomlinson, “while international attention lurches from crisis to crisis, global peace-building organizations focus on long term work to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies. On the International Day of Peace, we encourage governments gathering in New York for the start of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly to join us in these efforts to sustainably address the root causes of violent conflict around the world.”
The statement calls for Member States to:
- Fully embrace the commitments to peace in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
- Balance national efforts with a focus on external drivers of peace, justice and inclusion
- Mainstream prevention, including in development, humanitarian action, and crisis response
- Protect and support civil society inclusion
In this recently published paper in the Society for International Development (2017), QUNO’s Food & Sustainability Representative Susan H. Bragdon explores the two interlinked trends of using market-based solutions to end hunger and the weakening of the public sector in ensuring local and global food security. She argues that both of these phenomena play an important role in the creation of a modern food system that is harming the health of people and planet. Therefore, she calls upon governments to define and assert their appropriate roles in the protecting the public interest in food security and emphasizes the need for a revitalized public sector.
"The human security approach is instrumental to sustainable development, inclusive peace, justice and the well-being and dignity of all people and it is, in fact, central to the 2030 Agenda" - UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohamed
QUNO New York's Director, Andrew Tomlinson, delivered a statement at the UN High-Level Event on "Human Security and its Contribution to Agenda 2030" held on 7 July in New York. Organised by the UN Human Security Unit in close collaboration with the Friends of Human Security, the event provided an opportunity for participants to share experiences and best practices on how human security contributes towards implementing the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals.
This high-level meeting was timely as the world currently faces multiple humanitarian crises, with over two million people displaced or living in conflict affected areas. The theme of the meeting emphasized resilient societies which are at the core of the 2030 agenda, promoting a world “free from poverty, hunger, disease and want”.
A number of UN actors and Member State representatives spoke on the panel, as well as Thera Boubacar from the West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), a member of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC). QUNO also participated from the floor, as the only civil society organization formally requested to speak during the discussion. Mr. Tomlinson echoed the timeliness of the event, saying "agenda 2030, which all states have committed to, provides a roadmap, which is in line with the human security approach and supports resilience.” He took the opportunity to remind the room that the 2030 Agenda includes a commitment by all member states to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies and that the biggest challenge being faced is uneven implementation. Additionally, he brought attention to the continued challenge of the shrinking of space for civil society working to advance these agendas.
In his statement, he noted that "We are at a critical point where precedents and patterns are being set," and called for all stakeholders to urgently recommit to the peace mandate within the 2030 Agenda, which provides a clear road map by which humanitarian and development objectives can be achieved.
QUNO's July 2017 issue of the Geneva Reporter newsletter is now available online. The latest issue features: an update from our Human Rights & Refugees Representative on the new “global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration,” news about the inter-faith meetings QUNO helped to organize with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a brief overview on our recent cross-cutting work on sustaining peace and climate change, and a QUNO Q&A with Carolan Redfearn.
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.
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.