‘‘Full compliance with human rights is the best antidote to the inequalities, unaddressed grievances and exclusion which are often at the root of instability and conflict,” said Volker Türk, the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) shares this understanding of the inextricable link between human rights and peace. The protection and promotion of human rights is essential for achieving sustainable peace and in turn sustaining peace can help promote and protect human rights and create just and equitable societies.
QUNO Geneva’s Peace and Disarmament programme has been working on leveraging human rights mechanisms for sustainable peace, as outlined in several reports (see links below).
The most recent project in this regard was undertaken by QUNO Geneva and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in collaboration with the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs’ Peacebuilding Support Office (DPPA/PBSO). This joint project sought to explore how special procedures of the Human Rights Council (HRC) could better integrate human rights and sustaining peace in their work and enhance prevention of both conflict and human rights violations across all pillars of the UN.
The project centered on direct engagement with mandate-holders of special procedures at its core while also supporting them in framing human rights challenges through a peace lens and in providing human-rights based approaches to peacebuilding challenges. The project facilitated engaging with the UN Peacebuilding Architecture to enhance synergies and information exchange between special procedures and peacebuilding practitioners and policy makers. The report includes focused examples on transitional justice, protest, counterterrorism, LGBT+ and business.
The findings of these activities, the opportunities and challenges are reflected upon in the report below.
Previous reports by QUNO on these topics: