April 2023

Quaker Action article showcases QUNO’s 75-year history at the UN

In the final days of World War II, world leaders came together to form an international body to prevent future global catastrophes. They established the United Nations (U.N.). Its stated purpose: “To save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind.”

For generations, Quakers had been actively involved in preventing violent conflict and supporting war relief efforts. They had sent representatives to the League of Nations and supported the founding of the U.N. Now Quakers wanted representation for their concerns for global peace and justice— and to ensure that the voices of local communities were part of policy discussions.

In 1948, Quakers were granted U.N. accreditation, allowing them to carry out their work at U.N. headquarters in New York and directly participate in the meetings and activities of this body. This new office was called, simply, the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO). Today, there are Quaker offices in both New York and Geneva, which represent Quakers through Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC). QUNO in New York receives critical administrative and financial support from AFSC and collaborates on many programs and statements.

Over the years, QUNO staff have worked with diplomats, U.N. officials, and community members to implement the United Nations’ original vision of peace and human rights.

This year, we celebrate the 75th anniversary of QUNO as a shared initiative of the global Quaker community.

Read the full Quaker Action article, Celebrating 75 years of Quakers at the United Nations, to learn more.

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