In an article written for Quaker Earthcare Witness (QEW), QUNO’s Representative for the Human Impacts of Climate Change Programme, Lindsey Fielder Cook, reports from the June negotiations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). She explores some of the challenges, controversies and opportunities that exist at the UNFCCC, the primary multilateral negotiating body responsible for setting the international agenda on climate action.
This is a library of QUNO publications, newsletters, and statements. You can also explore these resources through their related Areas of Work.
The paper is released as part of our project working towards a New Framework for Trade & Investment in Agriculture, in which we are exploring some of the questions at the heart of defining the purpose, structure and direction of governance of trade and investment in agriculture, in order to place livelihoods, dignity, sustainability, resilience and food security at the heart of the rules governing these areas.
The analysis presented in the paper highlights three points:
- First, it shows that the dominant neoclassical economic arguments for agricultural trade have many caveats that need to be put out in the open and examined in light of food security concerns.
- Second, it shows that current trade theory tends to utilize an outdated notion of food security, and could benefit from a more nuanced understanding of the concept.
- Third, it shows that trade theory and policy tends to prioritize efficiency (in a narrow sense) over other social goals, including ensuring the right to food, the need to preserve livelihoods and to protect the environment.
Given the political importance of these social goals, the paper suggests that we are only likely to see advancement of the dialogue on trade policy and food security once these broader goals are put on equal footing with trade and efficiency concerns.
In this issue:
- A New Framework for Trade and Investment in Agriculture
- Update from the UN Human Rights Council
- QUNO and the UN Climate Summit
- Highlights from QUNO New York
- Peace and Disarmament
- News in Brief
- Briefing Paper: The Aarhus Convention
QUNO has submitted an Amicus Curiae opinion on conscientious objection to military service to the Constitutional Court of Korea jointly with Amnesty International, the International Commission of Jurists, the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, and War Resisters’ International. This opinion is submitted in relation to the cases bought by six conscientious objectors against the government of the Republic of Korea on the basis of the violation of their right to conscientious objection to military service. The opinion outlines to the Constitution Court the position of conscientious objectors in international law, focusing on recent developments in the UN Human Rights Committee. It is believed that over 10,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses have been imprisoned as a result of their conscientious objection to military service since the year 2000, which gives an indication of the severity of the problem.
“A Call to Conscience: Quaker experiences facing the challenge of Climate Change” features interviews with Quakers worldwide on why they care about climate change, and what they are doing to address the challenge locally, nationally and internationally.
QUNO Geneva has created this publication as a form of witness in facing anthropogenic climate change through love and action, rather than fear. The people portrayed span our worldwide Quaker community, from Africa to Europe, Asia Pacific to the Americas.
A “Quaker Statement on Climate Change,” was signed by a number of Quaker organizations and was distributed to all Yearly Meetings worldwide. The Statement recognizes the moral duty of Quakers worldwide to respond to the challenge of climate change and calls for meaningful international action on anthropogenic climate change.
In this publication, QUNO questions the presence and influence of the military in primary and secondary education from a peace and human rights perspective. Concerned at the military’s involvement in schools and the militarization of education, QUNO draws attention to relevant international human rights standards that promote education for peace.
This new publication shares perspectives and learning from a side event at the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council organized by the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) together with Belgium, Mexico, Montenegro and Norway. At the side-event, experts reflected on a number of key issues, including violence against children; the specific application of the death penalty in Japan; good practices in the assistance of foreign nationals on death row abroad by the Mexican government; and developments in the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Universal Periodic Review Process and the UN General Assembly.
Minute 36 (the Canterbury Commitment) challenges Quakers to seek a sustainable, equitable and peaceful life on Earth. Britain Yearly Meeting is responding to this challenge by focusing on how to become a low-carbon sustainable community. The Quaker United Nations Office responds to the same challenge at the international level in our work on climate change, natural resource management, food and sustainability, and human rights.
This briefing paper connects the work of QUNO to the concerns and the spirit of Minute 36, describing the linkages between local, national and international levels of engagement.
This document, lays out the ways in which conscientious objection has been recognized and is protected under human rights treaties and mechanisms, taking into account developments in international standards that have occurred since 2011.
A German translation of the document featured in Connection eV (beginning on page 23) is also available below.
Remarks made by QUNO at the UN Peacebuilding Commission Annual Session in New York.
Remarks made by QUNO at the UN Peacebuilding Commission Annual Session in New York.
Conscientious objectors to military service face a number of serious and negative implications for their refusal to perform military service, when the right of conscientious objection is not recognised in their country. These implications can include prosecution and imprisonment, sometimes repeatedly, as well as fines. However, there are a number of other less-well known, but serious implications, which make it difficult for conscientious objectors to secure employment, pursue an education, move freely, exercise their right to vote and otherwise participate fully in public and political life.
This paper presents four examples of multilateral agreements that involved complex negotiations, some spanning several years, others several decades. The examples draw on international processes in environment, disarmament, human rights and trade, exploring some of the factors that led to the adoption of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (1987), the Mine Ban Treaty (1997), the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (2000), and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007).
QUNO Review May 2014
Review of the activities of QUNO in 2013, including:
- Peace and disarmament
- Peacebuilding and prevention of violent conflict
- Food and sustainability
- Human impacts of climate change
- Human rights and refugees
- Developing Middle East issues
- Peace, development and the sustainable development goals
- Natural resources, conflict and cooperation
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.
Presentation shared during an off the record expert consultation convened by QUNO on a New Framework on Trade and Investment in Agriculture. Participants were invited to review of changes in food systems since the conclusion of the WTO's Agreement on Agriculture and other trade agreements, to better understand the current climate, need and potential for change so that trade and investment rules support all people's food security.
Presentation shared during an off the record expert consultation convened by QUNO on a New Framework on Trade and Investment in Agriculture. This presentation shared the results of a survey carried out by QUNO in 2013 to gather opinions of the adequacy of the current international rules which govern trade and investment in agriculture.
97.5% of survey respondents felt that the current rules are not adequate to address food security and environmental challenges.
Responses were gathered from individuals from within NGOs, States, Farmers` movements and secretariats of international institutions such as FAO and the WTO. Participants shared important issues to be addressed by the international system, also ideas for how changes can be made to achieve a system which adequately addresses food security and environmental challenges.
In this written statement by Friends World Committee for Consultation, Quakers draw attention to the serious and negative implications for those who object to military service when there is no national recognition and implementation of the right to conscientious objection. These implications include: punishment and discriminatory treatment; criminal prosecution; and lack of necessary identity documentation.
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