October 2015

QUNO publishes timely briefing papers ahead of COP21 in Paris

Between November 30 and December 11, 2015, international negotiators will meet at the Conference of Parties (COP) 21 in Paris. The annual COP is the main decision making session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This particular meeting is historic: in the context of increasingly strong and urgent calls to tackle anthropogenic climate change, the participants will seek to agree on a new agreement applicable to all Parties.

The four papers attached are intended to provide a comprehensive briefing for those concerned about the outcomes of COP21. The subjects are covered as follows:

Paper 1: The UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris 2015.
Paper 2: The importance of grassroots action to influence international climate negotiations.
Paper 3: Questions to ask policy makers.
Paper 4: What can we say, briefly, about the findings from climate science?

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September 2015

QUNO hosts consultation on criminal justice and drug-related policies

QUNO co-hosted an informal NGO consultation meeting on criminal justice and drug-related policies, in conjunction with the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) and Penal Reform International (PRI), on Tuesday 29 September.

The consultation was intended to gather the views of NGOs on these issues in order to support civil society input in advance of the UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem, taking place in New York in April 2016.  

Further details about the event can be found on the flyer available below.

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September 2015

Statement by Peacebuilding Organisations on the International Day of Peace

In honour of the International Day of Peace, QUNO and peacebuilding organisations from around the world have issued a shared statement to UN Member States on the importance of fostering peaceful, just and inclusive societies. Throughout the General Assembly in September, world leaders will sign on to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and there will be high-level discussions on terrorism, UN peace operations and peacebuilding. In light of these events, "Facing the Challenge of Peace" encourages the international community to adopt the following principles: embracing the universality of the 2030 Agenda; seeking to understand local contexts; seeking to do no harm when planning and implementing development, humanitarian, economic and security engagements; focusing on increasing resilience; and prioritising local needs.

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September 2015

QUNO delivers oral statement on children of parents sentenced to death or executed at the HRC

QUNO delivered an oral statement on the rights of children of parents sentenced to death or executed during the 30th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The issue was raised by QUNO in response to an update to the UN Secretary General's report on Capital punishment and implementation of the safeguards guaranteeing the protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty.

QUNO called on the Council to follow up on recommendations noted by the report, including convening an expert seminar for further investigation, and developing further guidance on the issue. Daniel Cullen, Programme Assistant for Human Rights and Refugees, delivered the statement during the General Debate discussion on Friday 18 September.

Text and video (beginning at 01:41:30) is available below: 

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September 2015

From Geneva to Paris: One voice on rights for a just climate agreement

On September 24th 2015, QUNO is co-sponsoring a side event as part of the 30th session of the Human Rights Council.

In its last Resolution on climate change, the HRC has "expressed concerns that climate change has contributed to the increase of both sudden-onset natural disasters and slow onset events, and that these events have adverse effects on the full enjoyment of all human rights". Climate change is more and more likely to constitute one of the greatest human rights challenge of the century. The outcome of the UNFCCC COP21 in Paris can vitally contribute to the response to this challenge. Incorporating an effective human rights dimension in the universal and legally binding Agreement under negotiation at COP21 in Paris is thus of crucial importance.

The side event offers an opportunity to hear the joint call of constituencies of the civil society to include strong and effective human rights language in the Agreement in Paris and views of the States leading the UNFCCC process.

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August 2015

Peace and Post-2015: What Now?

In August QUNO New York hosted an informal civil society strategy session at Quaker House to discuss the next steps for peace issues within the soon-to be adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Primarily focusing on Goal 16 - Promoting Peaceful and Inclusive Societies - civil society representatives, as well as selected member state representatives and UN officials, discussed an array of next steps concerning the implementation, measurement, and communication of the agenda. 

The session additionally addressed the importance of forming partnerships across the wider peace community and explored possible linkages with other major processes at the UN, including the Peacebuilding Architecture review, the Peace Operations review, the World Humanitarian Summit, and the UN Plan of Action on Preventing Violent Extremism. 

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July 2015

QUNO co-organizes Beijing workshop on UN Peace Practices

QUNO New York, together with the United Nations Association of China (UNA-China), the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), and the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum (CPPF) jointly held a workshop entitled “Emerging Views on Global Peace Practice: New Directions in UN Peace Operations at the Occasion of the 70th Anniversary” in Beijing. The workshop brought together Chinese academics, civil society practitioners, and experts from Africa, Europe, and the United Nations to discuss current UN peace strategies and practices. The participants actively engaged in discussions over the current reviews of the UN's Peacebuilding Architecture and Peace Operations, shared various country-focused experiences, and held an inspiring dialogue on gender perspectives in peace endeavours. More broadly, the workshop provided an opportunity for exchanging perspectives and promoting better understanding among Chinese, Western, African, and UN-based experts on UN peace operations and peacebuilding practices.

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July 2015

QUNO interviewed for ACUNS podcast on peace and post-2015

QUNO New York Director Andrew Tomlinson was interviewed by the Academic Council on the UN System (ACUNS) for their "Current Issues" podcast series, where he discussed his recent article, Peace and Post-2015: Into the Home Stretch, which is focused on Sustainable Development Goal 16: “Promote peaceful and inclusive institutions at all levels.”

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June 2015

QUNO presents at WIPO seminar on Intellectual Property Rights, Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions

The issue of genetic resources or traditional knowledge that are shared among different countries was discussed at a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) seminar last week. The seminar took place from 23-25 June at WIPO headquarters in Geneva. Susan Bragdon, QUNO's Food and Sustainability Representative, was asked to talk about other international legal instruments that relate to genetic resources and intellectual property, in particular to discuss the story behind the treaties; how they came to be, what they say and the challenges presented by the regime complex.

The panel was webcast live and can be viewed at the below URL. Susan’s talk can by selecting the afternoon session of 24 June. She is the first speaker after the moderator’s introduction. 

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June 2015

QUNO co-hosts panel event on promoting conflict sensitive business practice

QUNO and the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform and hosted "Promoting conflict sensitive business practice - Reflections on experience," a lunch-time panel discussion on civil society efforts to engage business on the impacts of investment on conflict and changing approaches of Northeast Asian business stakeholders, particularly from China. 

The event was moderated by Diane Hendrick, QUNO's Representative for Peace and Disarmament, and speakers included Jason Tower, a Quaker International Affairs Representative in Beijing, and Andreas Graf, Program Officer with swisspeace.

Further details on the event are available in the PDF document below.

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