March 2018

The 2018 QUNO Review is now available online

Our new, March 2018 edition of the QUNO Review is now available for download. The annual report provides a brief introduction to QUNO and our way of working, as well as an overview of each of our programme areas. Learn more about our past year of our work and see where we are headed in 2018.

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December 2014

QUNO launches FCNL Report on Natural Resources in the Central African Republic

In early December, QUNO hosted the Friends Committee on National Legislation launch of a policy brief titled: "Central African Republic Crisis: Managing Natural Resources for Peace." Engaging with a range of stakeholders, a series of Quaker House meetings in New York emphasized the importance of fostering transparent and accountable systems of management for the wealth of natural resources across the Central African Republic.  Key messages highlighted the role of sustainable and shared decision-making processes on issues of natural resource management at a local, national, and international level, as central to building a lasting peace. 

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November 2014

Freedom from Violence: Peace, Security and Conflict Prevention in the Post-2015 Development Agenda

On 19 November QUNO Director Andrew Tomlinson spoke as part of an expert panel as part of a four-day seminar on “Freedom from Violence: Peace, Security and Conflict Prevention in the Post-2015 Development Agenda." Hosted by the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA), and joined by representatives from Beyond2015 Campaign, and Save the Children, QUNO shared a series of insights and reflections to participants representing United Nations Associations from Armenia, India, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, and Venezuela. A lively interactive discussion followed the initial presentation, as participants shared national perspectives and priorities for the year ahead. 

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November 2014

QUNO chairs event on drones, protection and transparency

In November, QUNO chaired an event of the Geneva Forum entitled New Warfare Challenges: Drone Operations and Protection of Civilians. Moderated by Diane Hendrick, QUNO’s Representative for Peace and Disarmament, the panel consisted of Baher Amzy from the Centre for Constitutional Rights and Kate Hofstra from Every Casualty Worldwide led the discussions.

The discussion addressed the effects on communities of living under sustained drone presence and how the fear of becoming the next victim of a drone strike affects people’s willingness to attend cultural events, public gatherings or even school. Impacts include post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, stress, emotional breakdowns, and physical ailments that that can also have long term effects on societies as well as individuals. In addition, lack of transparency in the use of drones presents a significant obstacle to measuring the civilian impact of drone strikes and issues relating to casualty recording were also discussed at the event.

The panel attracted over 60 State and NGO representatives to address these underexplored issues.

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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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."

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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.

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