Timeline

July 2015

Read QUNO Geneva's latest Geneva Reporter newsletter

QUNO's Geneva Reporter newsletter is now available for download. The latest issue features updates on our work at the ongoing international climate change negotiations, details about a new publication from our Natural Resources, Conflict and Cooperation programme, a summary of our small-scale farmer innovation consultation, and a dispatch from the Prisoner's Families Conference.children of prisoners. This issue also include the first QUNO Q&Q, a new regular feature in which we catch up with QUNO Geneva alumni and past summer school participants. The full publication is available for download below.

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Event of Note
July 2015

Arria-Formula Meeting on Gaza

For the first time since 1997 and just the second time ever, the Security Council held an Arria-Formula meeting focusing specifically on the issue of Palestine. Co-sponsored by the Permanent missions’ of Malaysia and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, with assistance from the Israel-Palestine NGO Working Group, the meeting: "Reflections One Year Later and Charting a New Course for Gaza" featured briefings from speakers from civil society and academia, and was well attended by Council members and the UN community alike. 
 
Security Council member states were largely represented at the highest level, and were constructive in their response to the four speakers' testimonies.  Many member states welcomed the convening of the Arria-Formula Event, and issued their support for new Security Council initiatives that might arise. There was a general agreement that the current situation in Gaza is unsustainable and must be alleviated, with interventions focusing on the need to lift the blockade, for donor's to fulfil aid pledges, and for actors to ensure that steps are taken to prevent future hostilities.
 
QUNO has been an active member of the Israel-Palestine NGO Working Group since its founding in 1999. The working group is a coalition of organizations that have meet to share information and advocate for a just peace in Israel and Palestine.

 

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July 2015

QUNO Presents at Beijing 70th UN Anniversary Event

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. Quakers have had a long association with China, and this was an occasion to renew old acquaintances and make some new contacts. 
QUNO's presentation, "The UN’s role in maintaining international order: preventing violent conflict and fostering peaceful and inclusive societies", which calls for using a prevention lens across development, humanitarian assistance, economic and security activities, was well received. 

 

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June 2015

QUNO co-hosts "Moving away from the Death Penalty" side event at the 29th session of the Human Rights Council

QUNO will co-host the side event "Moving away from the Death Penalty: Protection of the rights of persons facing death penalty abroad, including migrants" at the 29th Session of the Human Rights Council on Wednesday, 17 June 2015 at 11am.

The side-event will provide a platform for the exchange of information and views on persons who face the death penalty aboard, including migrant workers; and to share good practices, lesson learned and challenges in the implementation of relevant international human rights standards. 

Further details on the event and panelists can be found in the flyer available below.

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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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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

UNRWA at 65: Overcoming Hardship and Sustaining Hope

Following a High Level UN Conference to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Quaker House hosted an Israel Palestine NGO Working Group meeting with UNRWA titled "Overcoming Hardship and Sustaining Hope.” The meeting featured five Palestine refugees from the West Bank, Gaza, and Syria who traveled to New York City to share their stories with the UN community. 

There was an added poignancy to the meeting as QUNO’s sister organization, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), preceded UNRWA as the UN mandated organization to coordinate relief efforts to Palestinian refugees. On the 65th anniversary of this transfer, a packed room listened to the testimonies of each speaker, to reflect and further ideas to continue to advocate for a just and durable peace in Israel and Palestine. 

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June 2015

Funding for Peace: Lessons Learned

The Quaker United Nations Office and the NYU Center on International Cooperation (CIC) hosted an informal discussion at Quaker House on lessons learned in funding for peace. The event involved representatives from the UN, Member States and civil society, and sought to identify how such lessons might be reflected in the outcome document, the Addis Ababa Accord, of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, in July 2015. 

Many participants noted the imperative need to provide mechanisms to fund the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies. Funding Goal 16 will be critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and will require flexible, risk-tolerant and coordinated approaches that will promote resilience by addressing the root causes of violence and instability, reducing humanitarian need and building institutions in a sustainable and inclusive manner. 

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June 2015

QUNO launches new report with GPPAC on civil society inclusion in UN peacebuilding

QUNO hosted a series of discussions at Quaker House in New York to launch a new report by QUNO and the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) entitled Filling the Gap: How civil society engagement can help the UN’s Peacebuilding Architecture meet its purpose. The report is a contribution to the 2015 review of the UN's Peacebuilding Architecture and includes concrete recommendations for how the UN can improve the way in which it collaborates with civil society on peacebuilding, both in New York and in country. In the launch events, the two co-authors from QUNO and GPPAC were joined by local researchers from Burundi, the Central African Republic, and Liberia, who shared their experiences with peacebuilding and conflict prevention in their own countries.

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May 2015

QUNO goes to Washington: Alliance for Peacebuilding Conference Meetings

QUNO New York Director Andrew Tomlinson participated in the Alliance for Peacebuilding 2015 Annual Conference, Peacebuilding and Democracy in a Turbulent World, to provide a UN perspective on peace and development issues, including leading a group discussion as part of a session on the State of the Peacebuilding Field. QUNO has sought to reinforce links between peacebuilding policy discussions at the UN and other policy centers, such as Washington DC. 

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May 2015

UNITAR Seminar: "The Nexus of Reconciliation and Peacebuilding"

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." 

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May 2015

QUNO co-hosts side event at the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Vienna

QUNO, together with Friends World Committee for Consultation and Penal Reform International, hosted a side event at the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Vienna on Friday, 22 May 2015. The event presented an opportunity for further discussion following the presentation to the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice​ (CCPCJ) of the ninth quinquennial report of the UN Secretary-General on "Capital punishment and implementation of the safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty." Further details are available in the flyer below. 

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May 2015

QUNO supports peace and reconciliation in Burundi

QUNO New York, along with nine other Quaker organisations, have jointly issued a statement on Burundi entitled "Standing for Peace and Reconciliation." This statement draws attention to the current crisis in the country, highlights the important work of Friends in Burundi on trauma healing, reconciliation, and violence prevention, and lifts up the views of Burundian Friends on the need for a political resolution to the crisis, on the importance of dialogue, and that true peacebuilding is a process that needs support in the long-term. 

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May 2015

Negotiations on Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration

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.

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April 2015

QUNO hosts event on children of incarcerated parents at the 13th UN Congress of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

QUNO's Laurel Townhead and Rachel Brett presented the findings of the COPING project, a transnational research project looking at the impact of parental incarceration on the mental health and well being of children at the Thirteenth UN Congress of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Doha, Qatar.

The COPING project examined ways criminal justice professionals and others can support children's resilience and the session will cover recent developments in the UN human rights system in the promotion and protection of the rights of children of incarcerated parents, including children of parents sentenced to death. Following the presentations was an opportunity to discuss these issues and to share examples of national practice.

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April 2015

Peace and Post-2015: Into the Home Stretch

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."

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April 2015

QUNO speaks on peace education and trauma healing at Commemoration event on the Genocide in Rwanda

On 8 April QUNO was invited to be part of a  commemoration event organised by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Rwanda in Geneva on “The legacy of the genocide against the Tutsi: from hate speech to fighting denial and fostering harmony“ at the Palais des Nations. Diane Hendrick spoke on recent peace education initiatives at both NGO and government level in Rwanda and underlined the necessity for peace education to be supported by trauma healing in order to be effective,  illustrating this by the work of Quaker Peace House in Rwanda. 

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April 2015

QUNO hosts CFSC for the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

For the last two weeks of April, QUNO hosted partners from the Canadian Friends Service Committee (CFSC) in New York for the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Canadian Friends carry the program on Indigenous issues for the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC), and have been engaged internationally for many years, including on the drafting and adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This year CFSC contributed to three joint statements: Outcome of the World Conference on Indigenous Issues, Implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (read by National Chief Perry Bellegarde), and Eradicating violence against Indigenous women and girls

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March 2015

Palestinian Youth Organizers: Breaking Barriers - Building Movements

QUNO, in collaboration with the American Friends Service Committee, facilitated an Israel-Palestine NGO Working Group event “Palestinian Youth Organizers: Breaking Barriers - Building Movements.” The talk featured three young Palestinian women from Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem who had previously traveled to select U.S. cities to discuss and address issues of Palestinian fragmentation, freedom of movement, their personal experiences and day-to-day realities of living and studying in Gaza, the West Bank and more. All three women are participants in a current AFSC project in the region, "Palestinian Youth: Together for Change," which aims at decreasing Palestinian fragmentation by bringing together youth Palestinians from different locations.

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March 2015

Engagement with the New York University Center for Global Affairs on the new Sustainable Development Goals

As part of a workshop organised by the New York University Center for Global Affairs on the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), QUNO NY Director Andrew Tomlinson was one of two speakers for the opening plenary session, along with Professor Sakiko Fukuda-Parr from the New School for Public Engagement. Andrew provided a detailed overview of the lengthy process to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with the new SDGs framework, and noted the contrasting experience of civil society engagement in each process. A lively interactive session followed the opening remarks, during which a range of insights were shared highlighting the challenges that remained for the numerous stakeholders engaged in the vast inter-governmental negotiating process at the UN throughout 2015.  

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