On the morning of July 27, the Civil Society-UN Prevention Platform, co-hosted by QUNO and the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), convened civil society representatives to meet with UN officials at Quaker House in New York. During the lively discussion, guests exchanged reactions and feedback following the publication of the Secretary General’s New Agenda for Peace. In meetings like this, QUNO plays a pivotal role, centering the voice of local and grassroots actors in high-level policy conversations.
The New Agenda for Peace opens possibilities for international cooperation and the active involvement of civil society to pave the way to a more peaceful and just future for all. This forward-looking policy brief holds the promise of sparking the revitalization of discussions on peace across the UN system, at a time when both feel out of reach.
The Quaker House discussion provided an important opportunity for discussion and exchange of ideas between civil society and UN policymakers. The conversation focused on how civil society could collaborate with the UN on implementation of the report. Including the need for civil society to advocate for recommendations in the report to be adopted by UN Member States and the need to unpack policy directives in the short brief for greater understanding. For example, the policy brief outlines a shift in approach by the Secretary-General from ‘conflict prevention’ to ‘violence prevention’ that would apply to all countries and would require a change in perspectives that peacebuilding is needed everywhere and not just in places impacted by war. After the launch of this document, it is up to Member States to decide what happens with the recommendations laid out, and if they turn into UN or national policies that will be implemented.