The rules governing international trade in agriculture are often vague and ambiguous, requiring significant legal and administrative capacity to uncover opportunities to support food security and rural livelihoods without breaking WTO rules. This report identifies some of the measures that may be used to help advance developing countries’ food security in ways that comply with international obligations to reduce trade-distorting domestic supports and market protections.
In May 2015, QUNO convened a small expert consultation in Geneva to discuss the emerging concept of small-scale farmer innovation systems. The event brought together 19 participants from across 12 countries, providing a platform for discussing first-hand experiences of innovation at this level. The experience of one of the attendees - Joe Ouko, a farmer from Kenya, features in the 93rd edition of Quaker News ('Starting small', p.11): http://issuu.com/quakers-in-britain/docs/quaker_news_93_4f36b9a9828ae7/1
Over the course of the two days, detailed information was shared, gaps highlighted, working relationships established and future directions explored. The report, which can be accessed by clicking the link below, represents a synthesis of what was discussed; something that will be valuable in informing QUNO’s work moving forward.
Read the report, as well as a literature review of small-scale farmer innovation systems, below:
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 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.
QUNO maintains a presence at the UNFCCC and supports the negotiations through a number of avenues - particularly through our "quiet diplomacy" work. These four papers 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?
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.
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:
In honor of the International Day of Peace, QUNO and peacebuilding organizations from around the world have issued to UN Member States a shared statement 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 prioritizing local needs.
Agriculture is a major contributor to anthropogenic climate change, and in turn climate change threatens the viability of food production around the world. The spread of capital- and technology-intensive 'industrial' agriculture in the modern era has been accompanied by an erosion of on-farm genetic diversity, a loss of local knowledge, and the abandonment of traditional farming practices. This undermines our capacity to
adapt to already-changing climatic conditions.
This report highlights the role of small-scale farmers as innovators and custodians of food system diversity, a critical resource in ensuring the realization of the right to food in an era of climate change. Taking an innovation systems perspective, it proposes a new framework for the design of collaborative agricultural research projects and agendas, and notes the need for pro-active policy measures in creating an enabling environment for such partnerships.
The report is available for download free by clicking on the link below.
Languages: English, French, Spanish, Chinese
QUNO New York Director Andrew Tomlinson was invited by the UN Association of China to be a plenary speaker at the Beijing event on 20 July, 2015 celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations.
QUNO Geneva have produced a new publication that focuses on the potential of environmental rights agreements to prevent destructive conflict around natural resources. “Building Peace through Principle 10, Access rights and the prevention of environmental conflict”, is a contribution to the ongoing negotiations to conclude a regional agreement for Latin America and the Caribbean on the right to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice, in environmental matters. It uses case studies from the region to illustrate how public participation in decision-making around natural resources contributes not only to sustainable but also to peaceful and equitable development. This publication was sent personally to each of the country delegates, and civil society representatives, to the negotiations in Santiago de Chile.
In May, QUNO New York Director Andrew Tomlinson spoke during a UNITAR Seminar for mid-level UN Diplomats, on the subject of "The Nexus of Reconciliation and Peacebuilding." The Seminar which aimed to familiarize the participants with the principles of reconciliation as a process for peacebuilding, was well attended by representatives from many member state missions.
The presentation during the session stressed that "Reconciliation can be usefully viewed as the process of transforming relationships in divided societies.
It is a multi-generational process, applicable at any level of development, whether societies are marked by violent conflict or not."
The New York office is please to share our most recent Newsletter, featuring articles on the UN Peacebuilding Architecture, the New York Peacebuilding Group, the post-2015 Development Agenda and new staff.
Statement on the political crisis in Burundi by ten Quaker organisations including QUNO New York.
Countries / Regions:
A paper co-authored by QUNO New York and the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) focused on civil society engagement in the UN's Peacebuilding Architecture (PBA), which includes the Peacebuilding Commission, the Peacebuilding Support Office, and the Peacebuilding Fund. This paper was written as a contribution to the 2015 review of the PBA and is based on interviews with diplomats, UN experts, and civil society in New York as well as field research conducted by local peacebuilders in Burundi, the Central African Republic, and Liberia.
Countries / Regions:
The risks faced by children of incarcerated parents can be compounded by criminal justice and penal systems that do not take notice of their existence or do not see their rights as relevant considerations. This briefing outlines the current position in regard to international standards pertaining to children of incarcerated parents, bringing together legal instruments, treaty body recommendations and other guidance issued by international bodies. The purpose of this briefing is to promote the recognition of the rights of children of incarcerated parents, to guide States in their domestic consideration of how to ensure the rights of such children and to contribute to improving standards.
As the post-2015 inter-governmental negotiations continue to move towards finalising a new development agenda, we are pleased to bring you an Author's Original Manuscript version of the article "Peace and Post-2015: Into the Home Stretch," that was recently published in the Journal for Peacebuilding and Development. Written by QUNO New York Director and UN Representative, Andrew Tomlinson, the piece reflects on the current state of play of the inclusion of peace issues in the soon to be agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
With the culmination of negotiations in July 2015, and the forthcoming United Nations Summit to adopt the post-2015 development agenda in September 2015, we will continue to work for the inclusion of peace issues in the final agreement. Together with partner organisations from civil society, we recognise this "unique opportunity for those with an interest in fostering peaceful, just and inclusive societies to help both to contribute to the grand vision, and to shape the way in which issues of peace, justice and inclusion are prioritized, implemented and monitored for decades to come."
Review of the activities of QUNO in 2014, including:
- Peace and disarmament
- Peacebuilding and prevention of violent conflict
- Food and sustainability
- Human impacts of climate change
- Human rights and refugees
- Natural resources, conflict and cooperation
QUNO delivered an oral statement in the 28th session of the Human Rights Council at the Clustered Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food and the Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing. Susan Bragdon, Representive for our Food & Sustainability programme delivered the statement in response to the report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Hilal Elver.
Text and video (beginning at 00:32:57) of the statement is available below.
QUNO delievered an oral statement in response to the Report of the Independent Expert on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. The oral statement is a joint statement from the QUNO programmes on Natural Resource Conflict and Cooperation, and Climate Change. The statement was delivered by Programme Assistant David Elliott at the 28th Session of the Human Rights Council on the Promotion and Protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development.
Text and video (beginning at 02:37:04) of the statement are available below.
This briefing note summarizes the recommendations and inputs made by civil society representatives from Africa, Asia, and Latin America who participated in a civil society consultation on the UN Peace Operations Review and the UN Peacebuilding Architecture Review organized by the New York Peacebuilding Group (the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict, the International Peace Institute, Interpeace, PAX, Peace Direct, the Quaker United Nations Office, and World Vision) and the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI).
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 a 2014 version of the document featured in Connection eV (beginning on page 23) is also available below.