Resources & Publications

This is a library of QUNO publications, newsletters, and statements. You can also explore these resources through their related Areas of Work or through this reference page of Recent Publications.

April 2017

Towards a Human Rights Based Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration Paper 2: Expectations following the Agreement of Modalities Resolution

QUNO is closely following the process for negotiating a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. This process part of the UN’s response to the large numbers of people on the move around the world. The Global Compact was mandated by the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, a high-level statement adopted by States on 19th September and is due to be adopted in September 2018.

Following the adoption on 6 April of General Assembly resolution 71/280 on the modalities for developing a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, QUNO has prepared a short paper on expectations of the process.  This contains the steps which we believe are needed to support the adoption of a human rights based Global Compact (as called for in the New York Declaration and the modalities resolution). 

QUNO’s previous paper on the Compact, on input to the modalities resolution, is here.

March 2017

Are Small-scale Farmers at the Table? Reflections on Small-scale Farmers’ Participation in Global and National Decision-Making

This policy brief offers information on (1) small-scale farmer representation in international discussions related to food and nutrition security, innovation, climate change, human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals; on (2) the challenges in ensuring such representation; and on (3) the need for guidelines or lessons to help countries identify and ensure the full spectrum of small-scale farmer interests have an adequate and effective voice in negotiating processes and in project proposals. Finally, the brief concludes by making six recommendations for how multilateral institutions that host negotiations or dialogues can encourage and facilitate the participation of small-scale farmers. 

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March 2017

Foundations of Food Security – Ensuring Support to Small-scale Farmers Managing Agricultural Biodiversity

This paper, discusses the access and benefit-sharing (ABS) agreements established by the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, the Convention on Biological Diversity, or the Nagoya Protocol. In doing so, Susan H. Bragdon argues that ABS regimes are, and will continue to be, insufficient for generating the benefit necessary to support the innovative activities of small-scale farmers in conserving, managing, and actively developing the majority of the world’s plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA). After a thorough discussion on why small-scale farmers and PGRFA on-farm and in situ are critical to food and nutrition security and to the resilience and sustainability of agricultural systems, she goes on to maintain that a rights-based approach supported by governments nationally and internationally open broader possibilities of predictable, stable support. She concludes by noting that increased private sector interest in agriculture and food systems is reason for equally vibrant governments acting in the public interest. 

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March 2017

The Evolution of Rights and Responsibilities over Agricultural Biodiversity

This publication explores the concerns driving relevant international instruments with the goal of increasing the understanding needed to achieve coherence and mutual support. Susan H. Bragdon notes the central role inequity plays both amongst the treaties and instruments discussed in this paper as well as in the broader international legal landscape that includes human rights and trade agreements. To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals requires understanding of the broader context within which biological diversity related agreements are situated and the real or potential impacts resulting from the different legal regimes. The paper therefore concludes with suggestions on how to create a system that supports the critical role that agricultural biodiversity plays in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. 

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March 2017

QUNO submits written statments to the 34th session of the UN HRC

QUNO's Human Rights & Refugees, Food & Sustainability, and Peace & Disarmament programmes each submitted written statements to the 34th session of the Human Rights Council, held in Geneva in March 2017. The full statements are available in PDF below and further information on QUNO's participation at the 34th HRC can be found at the following links:

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March 2017

Threats to United States Support for the United Nations: An Overview

The international community of Friends set up the Quaker UN offices 70 years ago to support the United Nations (UN) in its work to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”. 

Recent proposals from the new US administration and from the US Congress to reduce the country’s engagement with the UN could damage its ability to carry out its life-saving work. These proposals include draft Executive Orders and legislation in the House and Senate proposing significant funding cuts and other forms of disengagement with the UN. Building on such legislation, in March, the White House released a proposed budget for 2017 that calls for reductions in financial support to the UN budget and peacekeeping operations, and for the end of support of UN climate change programs.

Global military spending is $1.6 trillion, dwarfing the $8 billion UN peacekeeping budget and total UN-related spending of $48 billion. While the US is the largest financial contributor to the United Nations, its annual total contribution to the UN and its agencies represents only 0.1% of the total Federal Budget. Cuts in US funding would put at risk the UN’s important work to address the most critical and pressing issues facing the world.

While it remains to be seen if or how the various draft bills, draft Executive Orders, and proposed White House budget will move forward, the existence of such measures shows the growing uncertain environment facing the UN and global efforts for peace more broadly. 

QUNO has produced the below background document, which will be updated as appropriate, to provide additional information and resources to learn more about this pressing issue.

For those in the United States, FCNL, the Better World Campaign and the UN Association of the USA provide avenues for action in support of the UN, including ways to contact legislators.

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March 2017

Can the children of parents sentenced to death or executed be considered victims of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment?

QUNO has prepared a written statement for the 34th session of the Human Rights Council, highlighting that the sentencing to death or execution of a parent leads to a violation of the child’s right to be free from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment (CIDT) or torture under international law. The statement outlines the severe impact of the death penalty on children, specific death penalty situations where there is robust evidence of a violation, as well as recommendations for States and the UN.

On 14th March, there will be a High-Level Panel on the death penalty, looking at how it relates to the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. We will also be presenting an oral statement during this discussion.

 

 

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March 2017

QUNO Submits Written Input to Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food in Humanitarian Contexts

On March 31, 2017, QUNO’s Food & Sustainability and Peace and Disarmament Programmes, submitted a joint contribution to Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Ms. Hilal Elver’s upcoming report on the Right to Food in humanitarian contexts. In its contribution, QUNO emphasizes the central role of small-scale farmers, agricultural biodiversity, and informal systems for resilience and ultimately for making the humanitarian food response system more adaptive.  

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March 2017

QUNO Submits Written Input to the Berlin Charter on Rural Development and Food Security

On March 31, 2017, QUNO’s Food & Sustainability Programme, submitted a written contribution to the Berlin Charter on rural development and food security. In its contribution, QUNO emphasizes, among other, the central role of small-scale farmers as agents of change and the opportunity of the Sustainable Development Goals to provide for an integrative approach to rural development. 

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March 2017

The Time is Ripe for Governments to Strengthen Sustainable and Food-Secure Farming

In March 2017, QUNO’s Food & Sustainability Programme published the call to action paper entitled The Time is Ripe for Governments to Strengthen Sustainable and Food-Secure Farming. This paper was written as a result of discussions held during an expert consultation in November 2016 on the role of the public sector in supporting small-scale farmers and agricultural biodiversity and is a product of contributions made by all participants. 

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January 2017

Briefing for Friends on opportunities and challenges for the protection of refugees and migrants at the UN level

On September 19th 2016, the UN set a new agenda under the ‘New York Declaration’ for responding to large movements of people crossing borders. Our briefing aims to inform Friends about the Declaration and developments it initiates. It also describes how QUNO is engaging in these opportunities, as well as ways that Quakers around the world can link up with, and benefit from, UN level initiatives.

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November 2016

Initial Input to Discussions on the Modalities Resolution for a Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration

QUNO is actively contributing to the process for negotiating a Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. This UN-level process is a major State-led response to the large numbers of people on the move around the world. It was mandated by the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, a high-level statement adopted by States on 19th September and will be finalised in 2018.

As States work towards drafting a resolution on the Modalities of this State-led process, QUNO has compiled an inputs paper which focusses on ensuring the human rights grounding (and compliance) of the Compact and the central role of civil society in the process.

This inputs paper makes several recommendations including:

  • Including human rights as a key message that cuts across thematic and regional consultations, and that this focus is grounded in existing international human rights law.
  • Using the Human Rights Council and other human rights mechanisms and expertise to make substantive contributions to the development of the Global Compact. 
  • Ensuring a central role for civil society (including migrants themselves) throughout the process.
  • Creating informal discussion spaces alongside the formal negotiations, as based on previous successful negotiations processes.

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November 2016

Mental Health, Human Rights and Criminal Justice submission to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

This briefing is QUNO's input to an open request for information by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the topic of mental health and human rights. It focusses on the links between criminal justice, mental health and rights protection, with a particular focus on children of parents in the criminal justice system.

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November 2016

Government Means of Supporting Small-Scale Farmers and Agricultural Biodiversity

This document presents some examples of government means of supporting small-scale farmers in agro-biodiverse settings. It is an overview of a range of options that we have seen national governments using. There also are clear overlaps and relationships among the measures discussed. The document served as a background report for the November 2016 Expert Consultation on the Role of the Public Sector in Supporting Small-Scale Farmers and Agricultural Biodiversity. 

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November 2016

Trends in Public Sector Spending in Agriculture

This document provides a brief overview of the statistics and trends on the declining public sector support for agriculture - demonstrating that public sector investment in agriculture is growing at a much slower and more unpredictable rate than the private sector. The note served as a background report for the November 2016 Expert Consultation on the Role of the Public Sector in Supporting Small-Scale Farmers and Agricultural Biodiversity.

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November 2016

Challenges to Small-Scale Farmers and Agro-Biodiversity

This note highlights the importance of small-scale farmers and agricultural biodiversity in ensuring global food security. It also provides a brief overview of the threats the two are facing, such as economic threats and land and environmental threats. The documents served as background information for the Expert Consultation on the Role of the Public Sector in Supporting Small-Scale Farmers and Agricultural Biodiversity held in November 2016. 

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November 2016

The Small-Scale Farmer and Agricultural Biodiversity Dialogue to Action Series

This concept note served as a background document for the Expert Consultation on the Role of the Public Sector in Supporting Small-Scale Farmers and Agricultural Biodiversity held in November 2016. This global consultation was the first one in the Dialogue to Action Series (DtA Series). 

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November 2016

Quaker Statement on Climate Change

A "Quaker Statement on Climate Change" has been signed by a large number of Quaker organizations, having been distributed to all Yearly Meetings across the world. The Statement recognizes the personal and collective responsibility to respond to anthropogenic climate change and calls for fair, sufficient and effective international action.

Read it by following the document link below.

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September 2016

Contribution to Special Rapporteur John Knox's Report

On September 30, 2016, QUNO submitted a contribution to Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, John Knox’s upcoming report on biodiversity and human rights. In its contribution, QUNO focuses on the application of a human rights approach to agricultural biodiversity and calls upon Mr. Knox to consider including agricultural biodiversity in his report to be released in March 2017. 

Read the contribution by following the link below.

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