Timeline

Peacebuilding & Prevention of Violent Conflict

QUNO seeks to encourage a more holistic approach to peacebuilding and the prevention of violent conflict at the UN that takes into account local perspectives and the rebuilding of relationships. This includes a focus on the connections between peace, development, and the environment.
December 2018

UN-AU Strategic Partnership and its implications for Prevention

In April of 2017, UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, and Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Moussa Faki Maham, signed the Joint UN-AU Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security. The partnership has since developed a shared understanding of the root causes of conflict, collaborated closely in preventive diplomacy and inclusive mediation efforts, protected human rights, and enhanced coordination and effective utilization of early warning systems to reduce the impact of disasters. 

This month, one day after the Chairperson of the AU and the Secretary-General of the UN signed a Joint Declaration renewing their commitment to strengthening the strategic partnership, the Civil Society-UN Prevention Platform, co-facilitated by QUNO, brought together representatives from the AU, the UN Department of Political Affairs (DPA) and the UN Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) for an informal, off the record meeting with civil society actors, member states and the broader UN community. The conversation provided an opportunity for participants to hear more about the UN-AU strategic partnership and its vision and approaches to conflict prevention, and for the UN, AU and civil society to collectively contribute to the UN’s prevention agenda broadly.

The discussion saw speakers reflect upon examples of successful partnership between the two organizations, including in preventive mediation, support for transitioning governments and engagement of women and youth in peace processes. There was broad consensus among participants that the UN-AU partnership has seen remarkable progress since its formation in 2017 and serves as a demonstration that mutually beneficial relationships built on shared values and comparative advantages are central to the peace and security pillar of the UN. Avenues that were identified as opportunities to further strengthen the partnership included ongoing AU reform, increased collaboration with regional economic communities and enhanced monitoring of progress. All participants encouraged meaningful dialogue  with civil society in order to identify concrete avenues for strengthened civil society engagement with the partnership.

As co-facilitator of the Civil Society-UN Prevention Platform, QUNO looks forward to continuing the conversation on how best to think innovatively about prevention and to continue to support the UN on its work on this issue. 

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December 2018

QUNO NY Director speaks on high-level panel discussion on the role of human rights in UN reform

On 3 December, QUNO NY Director, Andrew Tomlinson, spoke as the only NGO representative on a high-level panel discussion, The place of human rights in a reformed United Nations: A transatlantic human rights dialogue, held at UN headquarters.  The panel was convened by  Switzerland and Germany as the Co-Chairs of the Human Rights/Conflict Prevention Caucus, the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) and Universal Rights Group (URG). 

In his remarks, Mr. Tomlinson sought to underscore that  the promotion  and protection of human rights is both the foundation of peace and security, sustainable development, and conflict prevention, and is the key force to achieving the 2030 Agenda’s aspiration of fostering peaceful, just and inclusive societies.  At this meeting, attended by member states and UN colleagues, Mr. Tomlinson reflected that, not only are human rights the backbone to prevention, sustainable peace, and sustainable development, human rights also codify our common humanity, providing the foundation for human dignity and just societies. Human rights, he said, "give us the words to say I see you, I know you, I am you, to every child, woman and man". 

The UN derives much of its relevance and legitimacy from its embrace of human rights as an organizing principle and a moral driver. QUNO is honored to have contributed to this, and future, dialogues.

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November 2018

Integrating Human Rights, Nonviolent Action & Peacebuilding to Sustain Peace

This panel, organized by ​the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Berghof Foundation and the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) during Geneva Peace Week, discussed how we can integrate human rights, nonviolent action and peacebuilding to sustain peace by bridging the silos and shifting the mindset of how civil society participates through nonviolent action and peacebuilding.

Examples of how this is done came from practitioners as well as policy level experts:

  • Veronique Dudouet, Program Director for Conflict Transformation Research, Berghof
  • Lisa Schirch, Research Director, Toda Peace Institute
  • Millicent Otieno, Founder and the Director of Local Capacities for Peace International
  • Shaazka Beyerle, Senior Research Advisor, Program on Nonviolent Action, United States Institute of Peace
  • Florence Foster, Quaker United Nations Office representative for Peace and Disarmament

All agreed that to leverage true transformation towards sustaining peace, the complementarity of the human rights legal framework, political/elite peacebuilding processes and social movements needs to be acknowledged and put into practice at all levels.

The full article is available below (PDF document).

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QUNO Geneva through its Peace and Disarmament Programme continues to promote integrated action between peacebuilding and human rights actors on the ground and in the UN system. A pilot initiate notably brought together both peacebuilding and human rights civil society organisations to interact and engage in the UPR process and to promote input by UN Peace and Security agencies to the process and increased use of UPR outputs and awareness of implementation processes in the work of those UN agencies. Similar follow-up projects are being developed.

The full report of the pilot imitative is available below (hyperlink).

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November 2018

Nuclear Disarmament or Nuclear Arms Race: The World at Crossroads

The Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) organised a panel discussion on “Nuclear Disarmament or Nuclear Arms Race: The World at Crossroads” during the Geneva Peace Week featuring:

  • Marc FINAUD, Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Peter HERBY, head of “Petersburg Partnerships”
  • Susanne HAMMER, disarmament expert at the Permanent Mission of Austria to United Nations in Geneva.
  • Aidan LIDDLE, UK Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.

The panel discussed the emerging landscape in nuclear multilateral non-proliferation and disarmament agreements and regimes, threatened by growing divisions and challenges while global geo-political events have given these developments a sense of urgency.

Looking ahead, the panellists also looked at how to enhance the tentative policy level pushes towards, hopefully, more productive discussions towards nuclear disarmament through the adoption of Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) in 2017, the Conference on Disarmament initiating more substantive work within five thematic subsidiary bodies earlier this year, and last but not least, the UN Secretary General’s new Agenda on Disarmament published in May 2018.

The full article is available below. 

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QUNO Geneva through its Peace and Disarmament Programme continues to explore how mutual trust and cooperative dialogue can uphold the multilateral system to address nuclear disarmament. Alongside this work, the Programme is building bridging initiatives between human rights, disarmament and private sectors in order to better leverage opportunities in respective areas of work towards the common aim of a more peaceful world. 

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November 2018

QUNO brings attention to peacebuilding issues at UN meetings on the Sahel

During meetings held on November 13-14, Member States and UN actors came together to discuss strategies for peacebuilding and sustaining peace in the Sahel region. This began with the annual session of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), a full day, interactive meeting that focused on themes of partnerships, and the role of women and youth in peacebuilding in the Sahel. The annual session was then followed the next day with a joint half-day meeting of the Peacebuilding Commission and Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) as it held a discussion centered on the topic of the linkages between climate change and challenges for peacebuilding and sustaining peace in the region.

QUNO joined a small number of organizations who spoke at the PBC’s annual session, with New York Director, Andrew Tomlinson, representing the organization. Joining Member States and UN colleagues as they reflected on the UN Support Plan for the Sahel, Mr. Tomlinson reminded participants of the centrality of inclusion in the development and implementation of strategies for peace. He noted that “the emphasis…on the need to have a single, shared theory of change for external accompaniment for the people of the Sahel is vital, but while moving to consensus and coherence from the top down is important, we also cannot forget the need to build our analysis from the bottom up, to involve affected communities, including women and youth, in our understanding of the drivers and dynamics of the situation.”

As the only civil society organization to participate in the joint PBC-ECOSOC meeting, QUNO brought forward reflections on the impact of peacebuilding for discussions on and strategies to address climate change. Mr. Tomlinson shared that, “this morning we have heard a lot about resilience – ways of supporting communities to be more robust in the face of stress. (…) And what a peacebuilding lens provides here to the climate change discussion is the insight that resilience is also enhanced by accompanying communities and societies in supporting their ability to process and transform climate-related disagreements, disputes and grievances. In this way, part of the support needed is to identify what capacities exist within these communities for dispute resolution and mediation, including the important role of women, and then to provide training and resources to grow those endogenous resources.”

QUNO looks forward to continuing its engagement with these bodies to support sustainable peacebuilding policy development and implementation that addresses key drivers of conflict and fragility and includes a diversity of voices – particularly affected communities.

To watch QUNO’s intervention at the PBC, please view this link, beginning at 1:32:34.

To watch QUNO’s intervention at the joint PBC/ECOSOC meeting, please view this link, beginning at 2:34:40.

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September 2018

Development and Security Rely on Peace, Justice and Inclusion: Statement by Peacebuilding Organizations

September 21 marks the International Day of Peace, which was established in 1981 by a unanimous resolution in the UN’s General Assembly. To mark the day, QUNO and over 80 additional peacebuilding organizations from throughout the world issued a statement to United Nations Member States that brings attention to peace concerns.

As noted by QUNO NY's Director, Andrew Tomlinson, “in many cases, governments are pursuing security using militarized approaches, either in the absence of, or in isolation from, policies that decrease exclusion and inequality – core drivers of conflict. If we are to have a hope of eliminating extreme poverty, fostering peaceful and prosperous societies, and addressing the root causes of conflict, then governments need to urgently re-align their priorities."

The statement calls on governments and the international community to:

  • Fully embrace the commitments to peace in the 2030 Agenda
  • Reaffirm a commitment to human rights, the foundation for human dignity and just societies
  • Foster social resilience by strengthening inclusion and addressing inequality
  • Think local and act global: recommit to multilateralism as a safeguard for the most vulnerable
  • Protect and support civil society in fostering sustainable peace

Additionally, QUNO distributed a press release on the statement, which was shared widely with media contacts covering the United Nations.

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September 2018

QUNO delivers statement at the 39th HRC, calling for a shift in mindset and practice to improve prevention through the UPR

In September, QUNO delivered a statement during the 39th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council, calling for a shift in mindset and practice to improve prevention through the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. As human rights violations are often at the root of destructive conflict, the UPR constitutes an important entry point to collaboratively address violations, that if left unaddressed, could lead to violent conflict. However, the lack of participation by peacebuilders throughout the process as well as concerns about the motives of closer coordination across silos undermines the effectiveness of the UPR to sustain peace. The full text of the statement is available below.

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August 2018

The SDGs and Prevention: Beyond the Obvious

On 1 August, the Civil Society-UN Prevention Platform was pleased to convene a meeting entitled “The SDGs and Prevention: Beyond the Obvious”. Held a few weeks after the High Level Political Forum, the UN platform for reviewing the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this meeting provided a timely opportunity for civil society, Member States and UN agencies to discuss innovative ways of doing prevention within the framework of the SDG). 

Held at Quaker House, this event brought together various actors to discuss practical examples of how to do prevention work in the context of the SDGs. Participants agreed that for prevention to be successful, it must be both permanent and intentional, and carried out far in advance of the onset of a conflict. Architecture and urban design have the potential to be tools for effective and efficient prevention. Likewise, it was agreed that best practices from work in the field of disaster-risk reduction, as well as public health, nuclear non-proliferation (please click here  to see more about Social Science Research Council’s recently released report- “Making Prevention Everyone’s Business: Lessons Learned from Disaster Risk Reduction, Nuclear Nonproliferation, and Public Health”) and community engagement with equity at its heart, all offer potential lessons for prevention. 

Established in 2016, the Civil Society-UN Prevention Platform aims to support the UN’s prevention agenda through strengthening coordination and information sharing between civil society organizations (CSOs) and the UN at all levels. The Platform looks forward to continuing the conversation on how best to think innovatively about prevention and to continue to support the UN on its work on this issue. 

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July 2018

QUNO Participates in 2018 FGC Gathering Quaker Truth Talks

QUNO NY's Director and Quaker UN Representative, Andrew Tomlinson, was invited to give one of three Quaker Truth Talks at a plenary session of the 2018 Friends General Conference Gathering in Toledo, Ohio. Andrew joined Friends Paula Palmer and Oskar Castro with a presentation entitled "From Spirit to Action: Examining the Roots of Quaker UN Work".

Weaving together the strands of the history of Quaker social action, the work of QUNO and personal transformation, the presentation concludes: "..the things that Quakers do well in social action have their roots in Quaker spiritual practice, and  the fruits of that practice, in the qualities of insight, fellow-feeling, groundedness, integrity, inclusivity, hope and love, are the same things that have characterized Friends’ unique contribution over hundreds of years.."

The video for Andrew's presentation can be found here

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June 2018

Integrating Human Rights and Sustaining Peace - The Role of the Universal Periodic Review

On 26 June, QUNO, in collaboration with the Permanent Missions of Germany and Switzerland, who co-chair the cross-regional Human Rights/Conflict Prevention Caucuses in New York and Geneva, and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), co-hosted a discussion on “Integrating Human Rights and Sustaining Peace – The Role of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR)”. As the 2016 sustaining peace resolutions adopted by the Security Council and General Assembly, and the Secretary-General’s 2018 Report on the same subject, call upon Member States and the UN to consider the human rights dimension of peacebuilding, this event provided a timely opportunity for civil society, UN agencies, and Member States to discuss how the UPR can contribute to better integrating human rights and sustaining peace. 

Hosted at UN Headquarters, this high-level meeting began with a presentation by Florence Foster of QUNO-Geneva on a recent study entitled “Integrating Human Rights and Sustaining Peace” exploring how the UPR is an inclusive, universal and the least contentious Human Rights Council process, and how its recommendations can be developed and implemented to prevent human rights violations that if left unaddressed could lead to conflict. The report recommends greater attention to be paid to conflict analysis throughout the UPR process, a shift in mindset away from the fragmented perception of human rights as a prerogative of Geneva versus peacebuilding and security as a prerogative of New York, and the levelling of dialogue spaces for human rights conversations addressing sustaining peace matters. 

The presentation was followed by an interactive panel discussion including Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) Andrew Gilmour, Head of the OHCHR Office in New York, ASG Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Head of the Peacebuilding Support Office, and Katy Thompson, Governance & Peace Building, Conflict Prevention Team Leader at the UN Development Programme, as well as the Permanent Representative of Guatemala to the United Nations, Ambassador Jorge Skinner-Klee. 

QUNO looks forward to its continued collaboration with all actors on better integrating human rights and sustaining peace, in particular with both Human Rights/Conflict Prevention Caucuses. 

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June 2018

What's Next in Peacebuilding?

Recent developments in peacebuilding policy have given us new global commitments, such as the commitment to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies in the 2030 Agenda, and the Sustaining Peace resolutions. Yet these commitments are extremely broad, presenting significant challenges in follow-up and implementation. If peace is everything, then how does a government, a civil society group, a donor or an agency prioritize between different programmatic, budgetary and policy alternatives? 

QUNO hosted a group of peacebuilding organizations from 18-20 June for our annual gathering on “What’s Next in Peacebuilding?”. The meeting, which encouraged new insights from peacebuilding leaders around the world, set the stage for an informal discussion and exchange of views. Participants addressed the central issues of peacebuilding from the perspectives of practitioners, donors, and policy experts. 

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June 2018

Strengthening a comprehensive and inclusive approach to countering incitement and preventing violent extremism

On 25 June 2018, the Civil Society-UN Prevention Platform was pleased to convene a meeting on “Strengthening a Comprehensive and Inclusive Approach to Countering Incitement and Preventing Violent Extremism”. Held at the onset of a week at the UN focused on counter-terrorism approaches of Member States and the Review of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, this meeting provided a timely opportunity for UN agencies and civil society organizations to come together to understand the context, and set expectations for the week’s upcoming events.

Held at Quaker House, this event brought various actors together to discuss how to work productively and collaboratively on this issue. The objectives of this meeting were to discuss key actors in countering incitement and preventing violent extremism, to explore ways to better engage local civil society communities; and to consider the lessons learned at local levels and within the UN system. Participants agreed that as the international community attempts to adapt to violent extremism, a more holistic, people-centered approach should be prioritized.

The Platform was pleased to host this discussion and looks forward to continuing to convene meetings between civil society, UN actors and Member States to support the UN on its prevention agenda.

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Event of Note
June 2018

Programme Assistant Reunion in New York

From 7-11 June, 2018, the Quaker United Nations Office in New York hosted a gathering of past and present New York Programme Assistants. As part of the American Friends Service Committee’s centennial celebrations, this reunion provided an opportunity for past Programme Assistants to gather in person to officially launch the QUNO Alumni Network (QAN). 

Over the very exciting four days, PAs from the UK, Ireland, the US, China, France, and Zimbabwe convened at the historic Quaker House in New York to hear about the current state of the UN, learn of new QUNO program work on peacebuilding and prevention, and to share and reminisce about their experiences whilst at QUNO. Program Assistants reflected upon how their experiences at QUNO impacted their professional career paths. Participants represented a wide array of careers, including law, diplomacy, policy campaigning and advocacy, leadership facilitation and peacebuilding, to name a few. By the end of the weekend, the enthusiastic group officially launched the QUNO Alumni Network (QAN), as a means to stay connected with both QUNO and each other, to provide guidance and professional support to one another and to spread the word of QUNO’s work. 

The Programme Assistant position provides an invaluable opportunity for Quakers and those in sympathy with Quaker ideals who have recently completed a degree to experience a year-long service involving everything from attending UN meetings to report writing, research, event planning and routine administration in QUNO's offices in Geneva or New York. To learn more about the role of a Programme Assistant, click here.  

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June 2018

Integrating Human Rights and Sustaining Peace – The Role of the Universal Periodic Review

On 26 June, QUNO, in collaboration with the Permanent Missions of Germany and Switzerland, who co-chair the cross-regional Human Rights/Conflict Prevention Caucuses in New York and Geneva, and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), co-hosted a discussion on “Integrating Human Rights and Sustaining Peace – The Role of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR)”. As the 2016 sustaining peace resolutions adopted by the Security Council and General Assembly, and the Secretary-General’s 2018 Report on the same subject, call upon Member States and the UN to consider the human rights dimension of peacebuilding, this event provided a timely opportunity for civil society, UN agencies, and Member States to discuss how the UPR can contribute to better integrating human rights and sustaining peace. 

Hosted at UN Headquarters, this high-level meeting began with a presentation by Florence Foster of QUNO-Geneva on a recent study entitled “Integrating Human Rights and Sustaining Peace” exploring how the UPR is an inclusive, universal and the least contentious Human Rights Council process, and how its recommendations can be developed and implemented to prevent human rights violations that if left unaddressed could lead to conflict. The report recommends greater attention to be paid to conflict analysis throughout the UPR process, a shift in mindset away from the fragmented perception of human rights as a prerogative of Geneva versus peacebuilding and security as a prerogative of New York, and the levelling of dialogue spaces for human rights conversations addressing sustaining peace matters. 

The presentation was followed by an interactive panel discussion including Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) Andrew Gilmour, Head of the OHCHR Office in New York, ASG Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Head of the Peacebuilding Support Office, and Katy Thompson, Governance & Peace Building, Conflict Prevention Team Leader at the UN Development Programme, as well as the Permanent Representative of Guatemala to the United Nations, Ambassador Jorge Skinner-Klee. 

QUNO looks forward to its continued collaboration with all actors on better integrating human rights and sustaining peace, in particular with both Human Rights/Conflict Prevention Caucuses.  

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May 2018

Navigating Inclusion in Peace Processes

Following the launch of the joint World Bank and United Nations Report Pathways to Peace in March, the High-Level Event on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace in April and the launch of the Global Study of Youth Peace and Security, inclusion has been put back to the forefront. On 14 May, the Civil Society-UN Prevention Platform (the Platform) found it timely to host one of its core-group partners, Conciliation Resources, in New York to launch their ACCORD publication Navigating Inclusion in Peace Transitions. The publication, which resulted from four years of research, explores how inclusion is negotiated in countries in transition from war to peace, the common barriers to and trade-offs between inclusion and stability and the types of external and internal support that have been possible and effective in peace processes.

Hosted at Quaker House, this off-the-record conversation provided an opportunity for civil society actors in New York to hear the experiences of colleagues from Colombia and Nepal and discuss more concretely what inclusion looks like the in the various contexts. The research highlights that if inclusion is not talked about in the initial stages of a transition, it tends to be sidelined throughout the process if not totally disregarded. The research also highlights the fact that political transitions are points for renegotiation because transitions and political unsettlement create opportunities for change. However, when aiming for political stability is the focus for a country in transition, it can also be challenging to introduce inclusion policies. Often, the prioritization of stability can lead to a return of the old guard and continued exclusion of marginalized groups.  

The research also reflected on the strategies used by different groups, in particular marginalized groups such as women, to influence these processes of political transition. The report draws on practical experience that Conciliation Resources and its partners have learnt from working on these challenges.

The Platform was pleased to host this discussion and looks forward to continuing to convene meetings between civil society, UN actors and Member States to enhance the UN and civil society organizations’ collective capacity to carry out preventive work. 

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May 2018

What UN Development Reform means for Prevention

On 10 May, the Civil Society-UN Prevention Platform (the Platform) was pleased to convene a meeting on what the UN Development Reform means for the Secretary-General’s Prevention agenda. Held days after the resolution concerning the proposed UN Development Reform was negotiated in the General Assembly, this event provided a timely opportunity for civil society and UN actors to constructively discuss the Development Reform. The objective of this meeting was to discuss the impact of the reform on the UN, its civil society partners and on the Secretary General’s vision for prevention, and to provide a space for an open and constructive dialogue on how UN and civil society cooperation can support the UN’s work on prevention.

Hosted at Quaker House, this event was the second in a series of discussions held by the Platform on the various UN reform streams. The Development Reform addresses the Secretary-General’s proposals for the UN’s development system to better deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals, with prevention as a cross-pillar priority. Subsequently, at the core of the recent resolution is system coherence and coordination at all levels; country, regionally and globally. 

While the Development Reform offers opportunities and challenges for the operationalization of prevention, the natural interlinkages of the peace and security, development and management reform streams remain important. The reform pushes for a more collected in country approach with more empowered Resident Coordinators and less regional duplication. 

By convening this meeting, the Platform informed civil society actors on the Development Reform process. QUNO looks forward to continuing its work co-facilitating the Civil Society-UN Prevention Platform and working with its core-partners and its larger networks of civil society experts to support the UN’s prevention agenda though strengthening, coordinating and information sharing with the UN at all levels.

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March 2018

The Peacebuilding Commission: Purpose, work, and opportunity

The International Peace Institute (IPI) and the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO), with support from the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO), convened a half-day workshop on March 16, 2018, to contribute to advancements in, and the ongoing work of, the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) and its membership. The workshop, which included approximately forty participants, provided an off-the-record space for PBC members to continue to strengthen their understanding of peacebuilding, including best practices and lessons learned for policy development; identify strategies and opportunities to build upon progress made in the PBC; address new or ongoing challenges that impact the Commission’s work; and reflect on and identify the capacities needed to strengthen the PBC. The below key issues emerged from the discussion:

1. Peacebuilding must be informed by and maintain a focus on the field, measuring success by impact at the country or regional level. To support this goal, policymakers will benefit from a strengthened practical understanding of factors that foster peace and of how to translate this knowledge into policy and programming.

2. Progress in the PBC, combined with increased attention on the Commission’s work, has reaffirmed its relevance as the central UN body for peacebuilding and the potential of its unique convening power.

3. The PBC’s increasingly flexible working methods, particularly with regards to country situations, provide both opportunities and challenges for countries as they build peace.

4. Recognition of the peace and development nexus needs to result in greater coherence and coordination of peacebuilding policy across the UN system, which can in part be supported by work carried out by the PBC.

5. Sustained financing for short and long-term programming is critical in assisting states to build peace, and more initiative should be taken to explore innovative financing and partnership opportunities.

IPI and QUNO look forward to a continued partnership that will allow our organizations to provide further support to the PBC and its membership by holding a series of strategic and output driven discussions exploring the above-mentioned topics, among others. Our organizations will continue to work with UN and Member State stakeholders to develop and provide a forum for frank discussion on issues related to the PBC’s work, with a focus on innovative thinking, idea sharing and peer-to-peer learning.

See full meeting note here.

For more information, contact Megan Schmidt, UN Representative at the Quaker UN Office  (MSchmidt@afsc.org), and Lesley Connolly, Senior Policy Analyst at IPI (connolly@ipinst.org).

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March 2018

Pathways for Peace - Inclusive Approaches to Preventing Violent Conflict: A Reflective Conversation

In March, QUNO, in collaboration with Club de Madrid, hosted a reflective, off-the record conversation on the recently launched United Nations-World Bank Report, Pathways for Peace: Inclusive Approaches to Preventing Violent Conflict. Launched in Washington D.C at the 2018 World Bank Fragility Forum, the report is the first joint study between the UN and the World Bank. Hosted at Quaker House, the event provided a timely opportunity to reflect upon the contents of the report and the difficulties that come with meeting the challenges of prevention. 

Participants reflected upon the findings of the report, the changing nature of contemporary conflict, the need to address grievances before they metastasize, and the need for states, as well as other actors, to pursue inclusive and dialogue centered policies in times of crisis. It was noted that the report should be viewed as a tool for prevention and early-action, and that its findings clearly highlight the business case for prevention, which states that prevention is economically beneficial even in the most pessimistic scenario and that the benefits of prevention increase over time, whereas the costs fall.  It was agreed that for peace processes to be successful, both drivers of peace and drivers of conflict must be addressed.

Participants recognized that the report reflects a cultural shift in the politics of prevention as it marries both political and technical aspects. Crucially, it was expressed that what is most important is that the UN and World Bank have highlighted their partnership and shared responsibility to carry out prevention effectively. QUNO looks forward to continuing its partnership with Club de Madrid, and the authors of the report.

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March 2018

Meeting the Challenge of Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace Through Partnerships and Inclusivity

The dual resolutions on peacebuilding and sustaining peace adopted in April 2016 by the United Nations (UN) Security Council and General Assembly (S/RES/2282; A/RES/70/262) marked a fundamental shift in the UN’s understanding of peacebuilding. Before peacebuilding was understood as taking place after conflict. However, by declaring sustaining peace as “a goal and process…aimed at preventing the outbreak, escalation, continuation and recurrence of conflict,” Member States now universally recognize that efforts to build peace must be taking place before, during and after conflict. 

Starting in 2017, the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) and The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) undertook a dynamic research project to increase the practical understanding of what sustaining peace means; assess the progress and remaining challenges facing peacebuilding practice; and articulate recommendations for the way forward. The research led to a joint report, Building Sustainable Peace: How inclusivity, partnerships and a reinforced UN Peacebuilding Architecture will support delivery

To share their findings, on 9 March QUNO and GPPAC organized an informal conversation amongst Member States and UN colleagues to reflect on how inclusivity is and can be fostered, and how partnerships for building peace are practically developed and sustained. The event, titled Meeting the Challenge of Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace Through Partnerships and Inclusivity, focused the challenges that hinder peacebuilding on the ground and at the regional and international levels. The meeting also provided an opportunity for peer to peer learning amongst participants as they shared examples of inclusive programming and reflected on challenges that have or continue to occur when seeking to develop and implement inclusive, partnership-based peacebuilding policies. 

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