Timeline

Human Rights & Refugees

We work to strengthen the promotion and protection of human rights through the United Nations system, with particular reference to migration and displacement, criminal justice and conscientious objection to military service.
November 2022

Geneva Peace Week 2022 (part 1/3) - QUNO Geneva believes ‘Peace is Possible’ at the Opening Ceremony

The Geneva Peace Week 2022 took place from 31st October to 4th November 2022. It is a leading annual forum in the international peacebuilding calendar where Geneva-based organizations and their international partners come together to share knowledge and practices on a diverse range of topics relating to the promotion of peace across contexts and disciplines. This year’s overarching theme was ‘Peace is Possible’.

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October 2022

Saving Lives and Listening to those Most Affected: Key Actions for the UN Network on Migration

It is five months since States met at the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) to assess implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) and agree priorities to accelerate action. The Annual Meeting of the UN Network on Migration in October brought together nearly 700 participants, including over 160 in person, from governments, UN agencies, and stakeholders to outline next steps. 

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October 2022

Quaker Statement on the Peace Testimony and Ukraine

Quakers are a people who follow after peace, love and unity. Our peace testimony is our witness to the Truth as we experience it. 

Our testimony manifests as a cumulative set of actions, continually tested and added to over centuries.  These actions are diverse in form, but have been broadly united by: 1) Refusal to kill, 2) Relief of suffering, 3) Building the institutions of peace, and 4) Supporting peacebuilding and removing the causes of war. 

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October 2022

Transformation for Racial Justice: Nothing can be changed until it is faced

On 3 October, QUNO Geneva engaged with the work of the Human Rights Council on systemic racism.

Speaking in the first dialogue with the Expert Mechanism on Law Enforcement and Racism, Director Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge drew on her own experience of police violence in apartheid South Africa. Welcoming the work of the Expert Mechanism and the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nozizwe went on to say:

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September 2022

Building Toward Migration Justice with all the Tools in the Toolbox: Complementarity Between the Global Compact for Migration and the Convention on Migrant Workers

On 27 September, speaking at the Committee on Migrant Workers Day of General Discussion on the convergence between the Global Compact for Migration and the Convention on Migrant Workers, our Human Rights and Refugees Representative, Laurel Townhead, highlighted the value of using the respective strengths of these instruments and their follow up mechanisms. Laurel said: 

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September 2022

Our latest Geneva Reporter newsletter is now available online

QUNO's September 2022 issue of the Geneva Reporter newsletter is available below. This issue includes a welcome letter from our Director Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, reporting on the International Migration Review Forum as well as updates from our programmes Peace and Disarmament (P&D), Human Impacts of Climate Change (HICC) and Sustainable and Just Economic Systems (SJES).

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August 2022

Brief analysis of the International Migration Review Forum Progress Declaration

The International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) Progress Declaration was adopted by consensus on 20 May 2022. It was then endorsed by the UN General Assembly by consensus. This consensus adoption demonstrates a significant maturing in migration multilateralism in the UN grounded in human rights.  There were a series of Explanations of Position at the time of the adoption including from Members States that made clear that they wanted more from the Progress Declaration in terms of human rights.

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June 2022

International Migration Review Forum: Consensus Adoption of Progress Declaration a Significant Step Forward

The first International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) took place in New York from May 16th to the 20th, gathering Member States, civil society representatives, migrants, and United Nations agencies.

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March 2022

QUNO Geneva Human Rights and Refugee Programme at the 49th Session of the Human Rights Council

The Human Rights and Refugees Programme at QUNO Geneva engaged with the 49th Human Rights Council through oral statements on the human rights of migrants. For the Panel discussion on ensuring equitable, affordable, timely, and universal access for all countries to vaccines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Laurel Townhead Representative of the program, delivered a statement on access to vaccines for migrants and the impact of vaccine inequality on border governance.

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March 2022

75 Years at the UN: The 2022 QUNO Review

The Quaker UN Office is celebrating 75 years of a Quaker Presence at the United Nations. Learn more about the work our office has carried out over this year to represent the concerns of Friends as we seek a UN that implements inclusive policies for peace. The annual review provides a brief introduction to QUNO’s way of working and an overview of the programmes carried out in our New York and Geneva offices, as well as our work ahead in the coming year.

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March 2022

The Crisis in Ukraine: A Brief UN Overview

Dear Friends,

Like us, you have undoubtedly been watching in horror the unfolding events in Ukraine. When we accepted responsibilities as the Directors of the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) in Geneva and New York this past November, the possibility of such a war was little imagined by us or by the millions of people in Ukraine and Russia. We pray for Friends in Ukraine and Russia, and all impacted by this conflict. We are deeply grateful to hear of the efforts being carried out by Friends in Poland, Estonia and Georgia to provide much needed humanitarian relief.

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February 2022

UN Secretary General says on migration: We can do better, and we must

The Secretary General’s report on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, issued ahead of the first International Migration Review Forum, sets out progress and challenges: both how States and the UN system have shown that they can do better, and also where they must go further.

 In his conclusion he says:

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December 2021

Leaders of Quaker international organisations gather and reflect

Eleven leaders from seven international Quaker organisations met at Friends House London and online for three days in early December. They included our incoming and outgoing Directors in New York (Sarah Clarke and Andrew Tomlinson) and in Geneva (Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge and Jonathan Woolley).

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October 2021

QUNO is on the Road to the International Migration Review Forum

QUNO welcomes the publication of the UN Network’s on Migration’s Roadmap for the International Migration Review Forum. Work towards this Forum is well underway and we have published a paper outlining what the IMRF is. This is our first paper in a planned series on Migration Justice: Delivering on the Promise of the Global Compact for Migration.

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October 2021

QUNO Engages with Human Rights Council Social Forum focussing on COVID-19

Marisa Leon Gomez Sonet addressed the Human Rights Council Social Forum to highlight the impact of COVID-19 and pandemic response measures on the human rights of migrants. 

During a panel on the impact on particular groups, she drew attention to the report from the Special Rapporteur on human rights of migrants on COVID-19 and called on states to:

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Event of Note
August 2021

Quaker United Nations Office Geneva names new Director

Following an international search process, the Quaker UN Office is delighted to announce that Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge has been selected as the incoming Director of QUNO Geneva. Nozizwe, a South African national, is a member of the Quaker Community in the Western Cape Meeting. She has broad experience in her home country and distinguished and influential service in government, civil society and advocacy. Nozizwe has an honorary Doctorate of Law from Haverford College, diplomas in microbiology and adult education, a degree in social science and an honours degree in philosophy.

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