The spread of COVID-19 has changed our world. 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. Our hearts go out to the millions of people who are suffering as societies struggle to respond, including those who have lost their livelihoods and the most vulnerable among us.
As we write at the start of May 2020, much is still unclear. Yet, as we work every day with our UN colleagues and partners as they grapple with the operational and policy demands of a new global crisis, we find that the insights and values that have shaped QUNO’s work since the founding of the United Nations 75 years ago continue to support and guide our efforts in ways that remain relevant and effective.
Most clear is the urgent need to strengthen and increase support for the mechanisms of international cooperation, which serve to safeguard the most vulnerable in all our communities. In the face of global challenges, it is imperative to find more ways to come together to work on global solutions, despite restrictions. In the face of a crisis of this scale, our interdependence is self-evident and essential. As Quakers, our deep faith in the value of every individual inspires our work.
While the physical circumstances of QUNO’s daily actions have altered, the motivation and need for our work is unchanged. Around the world, people are striving to build communities based on peace, justice and inclusion, and this work deserves the support of a rules-based international system that protects and fosters these efforts. 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.
Andrew Tomlinson Jonathan Woolley
Director, QUNO New York Director, QUNO Geneva