The Quaker United Nations Office was invited to take part in an intergenerational discussion in September 2019, at which experienced conciliators and younger peace activists came together to share learning and consider how to take the work forward with renewed energy. A taster of who was at the event can be found in this video. A subsequently published book ‘Dining with diplomats, praying with gunmen’ is a reflection on the conference as a whole, and sheds light on a fascinating yet little-known area of Quaker work: international conciliation. It examines the quiet, patient but determined processes that underpin this work, and its place in a changing world. Another outcome of the conference was a course held at Woodbrooke Centre, on Quaker Conciliation: helping to heal the world's wounds.
Our own inputs that you can read in the document below, tell the story of our work in relation to international conciliation - setting the scene of the policy environment that QUNO inhabits, the stories and tales of quiet diplomacy we shared at the conference, but also critically linking it back to the Quaker grounding. The contribution’s introduction is heavily taken from our former QUNO Director, David Attwood’s Backhouse Lecture; followed by stories from various Representatives and their own lived experience of QUNO’s work at the international level.
Illustration in headline image: Lynn Finnegan