October 2014

QUNO hosts side event on trade and food security at the Committee on World Food Security

QUNO hosted a side event entitled “Harnessing Trade for Food Security” at the 41st meeting of Committee on Food Security. Susan H Bragdon, QUNO’s Representative for Food & Sustainability, introduced the conceptual inter-linkages between trade and food security and the challenges the dominant paradigm of increasing trade liberalization may present to countries as they implement food security measures.

Aileen Kwa, the Coordinator for the Trade and Development Programme at the South Centre continued the panel presentation by explaining more specifically the evolution of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture and in particular the current impasse at the World Trade Organization.

Isabel Mazzei, present in her personal capacity, described the struggles for a WTO trade negotiator from a developing country when trying to reconcile desired national measures on food security with pressure to brought to bear to decrease policy flexibilities in the WTO.

Ivan Polanco, director of Asamblea General de la Asociación Nacional de Empresas Comercializadoras de Productores del Campo (ANEC), a peasant organization that represents small and medium producers of basic grains, also sat on the panel. Ivan described the experience of Mexico after NAFTA and in particular the marginalization of small-scale producers and an increasing dependence on food imports. 

Billy Mayaya, the Director of the Right to Food Network in Malawi, discussed his country’s experience both with trade rules and with pressure from philanthropic sources to pursue economic development through engagement with the global market.  Both Ivan and Billy stressed the need for policy flexibility for countries to support small-scale farmers and the development and maintenance of agricultural biological diversity as a key means to ensure food security and resilience over time.

Related Areas of Work

October 2014

QUNO hosts WTO working session on agricultural trade and food security

QUNO organized a working session at the WTO Public Forum, to address the forum theme of “Why Trade Matters to Everyone." QUNO posed the question “are the benefits of trade sufficiently inclusive?” in consideration of food security. In addition the sub-themes of trade and employment and trade in Africa were addressed by contextual presentations by panelists.

Moderated by Susan H. Bragdon, QUNO’s Representative for Food & Sustainability, the panel consisted of Jennifer Clapp, Professor & Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security and Sustainability at University of Waterloo, Jerome Bunyi, the Agricultural Attaché to the Philippine Permanent Mission to the WTO and Morrison Rwakakamba CEO if the Ugandan farmers` association, Agency for Transformation .

Jennifer Clapp presented findings from her paper, “Trade Liberalization and Food Security: Examining the Linkages” addressing the underlying narrative of trade liberalization and its relationship to food security. Jerome Bunyi gave context to the paper by providing an account of,  the situation of the Philippines and trade liberalization from the founding of the WTO until the present. Morrison Rwakakamba brought the perspective of small-scale farmers to the fore in sharing his experience in Uganda.

The session was well received by a highly engaged group of more than 80 attendees and included perspectives and questions from a number of different stakeholder groups. An audio recording of the working session can be found here.

Related Areas of Work

September 2014

QUNO and FCNL co-host lunch in New York bringing together climate scientists and faith community representatives

On 22 September, QUNO and the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) co-hosted a lunch with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and faith community representatives from the New York region.  Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC, alongside Dr. Chris Field, Co-Chair of the recent 5th Assessment Report Working Group II, and Dr. Renata Christ, Secretary of the IPCC, spoke with 30 representatives from the Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Baha’í​ and Brahma Kumaris communities. 

Dr. Pachauri focused on the most recent climate science findings, the human impact of increasing temperatures, the root causes of anthropogenic climate change, and ways in which we can effectively decrease greenhouse gas emissions.  Following these discussions, guests explored the spiritual and moral challenge of anthropogenic climate change.  The lunch was an opportunity for grassroots faith communities to connect with international efforts and resources  in their work to ensure the most vulnerable communities now, and all our future generations, do not suffer as a consequence of our actions.  

Related Links

Related Areas of Work

September 2014

QUNO Walks With People's Climate March in New York

On Sunday, September 21, QUNO staff from New York and Geneva joined in the People's Climate March, which brought an estimated 400,000 people to the streets of New York to voice their concerns and walk in solidarity with the communities who are most affected by climate change, in advance of the UN Climate Summit.  QUNO and other Quaker organizations are actively working on the margins of the Climate Summit, calling "on our leaders to make the radical decisions needed to create a fair, sufficient and effective international climate change agreement."

Related Links

Related Files

Related Areas of Work

June 2014

QUNO hosts discussion on Peaceland book

QUNO hosted an informal discussion at Quaker House in New York for Dr. Severine Autesserre from Barnard College to share the findings of her new book Peaceland: Conflict Resolution and the Everyday Politics of International Intervention. Peaceland offers a fascinating new explanation for why international peace interventions often do not reach their full potential. Through field-based research in conflict zones around the world, Dr. Autesserre demonstrates how normal everyday habits, practices, and personal narratives can influence the way in which peacebuilding is done on the ground.

Related Areas of Work

June 2014

QUNO hosts photo exhibit This Light That Pushes Me: Stories of African Peacebuilders

QUNO hosted an evening reception for the photography exhibition, This Light That Pushes Me: Stories of African Peacebuilders at Quaker House in New York. This photography exhibition highlights African Quaker peacebuilders from nine sub-Saharan African countries who have all experienced some form of violence and are now working for peace in their local communities. The exhibition, and accompanying book, trace the journeys that have transformed that suffering into a force for social change. In addition to colleagues and friends from the UN, QUNO was very pleased to be joined by Adrien Niyongabo from the local organization Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (HROC) in Burundi, who is one of the Quaker African peacebuilders featured in the exhibition and book. 

Related Areas of Work

May 2014

UN Commission on Crime Prevention & Criminal Justice (CCPCJ): Elimination of Violence against Children

QUNO welcomes the CCPCJ adoption of the United Nations Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence against Children in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, whose scope includes children of incarcerated parents.

The Model Strategies and Practical Measures are intended to help States in developing integrated strategies for violence prevention and child protection. In summation, they consider that the justice system has a complementary role to the child protection, social welfare, health and education sectors, in creating a protective environment and in preventing and responding to violence against children.
 

Related Areas of Work

May 2014

UN Commission on Crime Prevention & Criminal Justice: Side-event on the wider impacts of the death penalty

In May, QUNO attended the annual UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) in Vienna with other representatives from the Friends World Committee for Consultation (Quakers). At the CCPCJ, FWCC co-sponsored a side-event with Amnesty International and Penal Reform International on the wider impacts of the death penalty. Rachel Brett drew attention specifically to the children of parents who have been sentenced to the death penalty. 

At this event, QUNO screened a new video on children of parents sentenced to death, which was prepared with the Child Rights Connect Working Group on Children of Incarcerated Parents. We also launched a new publication, entitled Children of Parents Sentenced to the Death Penalty or Executed: Developments, Good Practices and Next Steps. 

Related Links

Related Areas of Work

May 2014

Video: Children of Parents Sentenced to Death

 

 

This video explores the situation of children when their parent is sentenced to the death penalty or executed. Drawing on perspectives shared at the side-event co-sponsored by QUNO in September 2013 at the Human Rights Council session, experts from around the world indicated the experiences of children of parents sentenced to death. This video highlights the stigma and discrimination faced by these children and addresses how they are often "ignored, not thought about or conveniently forgotten."

This video was prepared with the Child Rights Connect Working Group on Children of Incarcerated Parents.

 

Related Links

Pages