Timeline

March 2015

QUNO co-hosts Climate Change side event at the Human Rights Council

The Geneva Climate Change Concertation Group (GeCCco), the Geneva Interfaith Forum on Climate Change and Human Rights (GIF), QUNO and other NGOs concerned about the impact of climate change on human rights, co-hosted CLIMATE CHANGE AND HUMAN RIGHTS: THE WAY FORWARD IN THE HRC, a side event to the 28th session of the Human Rights Council. The side event was held on Friday, 6 March, from 1-3pm in Room XXVII at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. 

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March 2015

QUNO particpates in a side event on strengthening death penalty standards at the Human Rights Council

On Monday, 9 March, QUNO participated in a side event on strengthening death penalty standards, organized by Penal Reform International and the Permanent Representations of Switzerland and Mexico. QUNO Representative Laurel Townhead spoke at the event on the impact of death penalty on children of parents sentenced to death. Further details about the event can be found in the flyer below.

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March 2015

QUNO co-hosts side event on children of incarcerated parents at the Human Rights Council

QUNO, along with the Permanent Delegation of the African Union to the UN in Geneva, the Permanent Mission of Uruguay and Child Rights Connect Working Group on Children of Incarcerated Parents hosted a panel discussion and good practice exchange on policy and practice developments related to children of incarcerated parents.

The event is being held during the 28th session of the Human Rights Council, on 11 March in Geneva. Further details are available in the flyer below.

 

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March 2015

Emerging Issues in Peacebuilding & Prevention Reception

The Quaker United Nations Office in New York, in association with Ambassador Sofia Borges, Timor Leste, and Ambassador Vandi Minah, Sierra Leone, co-hosted a reception at Quaker House on 10 March for member state delegates and senior representatives of peacebuilding policy organizations from around the world. 

In a well-attended event, conversations touched upon the number of key processes and conversations that will occupy the United Nations community this year, and that will have an impact on the policy environment for peacebuilding and the prevention of violent conflict for the next decade or more. These topics included the reviews of UN Peace Operations, the UN Peacebuilding Architecture and UNSCR 1325, as well as the broader consideration of peace and justice issues within the post-2015 agenda.

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March 2015

Bringing the Voices of Local Peacebuilders to the UN

As part of the NGO Peacebuilding Group, QUNO hosted local civil society representatives from Burundi, Timor Leste, Central African Republic, Mali, Liberia, Guatemala and South Africa in New York. The purpose of the visit was to meet with panel experts conducting the Reviews of the UN Peace Operations and UN Peacebuilding Architecture. The local representatives shared with the panelists community-level peacebuilding experience and perspectives related to the UN in order to contribute to the improvement of UN peace practices. The consultation event included a series of meetings at Quaker House in New York and a panel event at the International Peace Institute. 

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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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February 2015

QUNO Geneva is accepting applications for Programme Assistant, Human Rights and Refugees

Our Geneva office is now hiring a Programme Assistant for September 2015 to August 2016. This is an opportunity for a person in sympathy with Quaker approaches and with an interest in international affairs and in international organizations. You would experience a range of international work, while working primarily as an assistant to QUNO’s Representative for Human Rights and Refugees in her work, which focuses on children of incarcerated parents (including children of parents sentenced to death), conscientious objection to military service and refugee protection. 

For more information, visit our PA page and download the complete job description and application form below. The deadline for applications is 30 March. 

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February 2015

QUNO Geneva is accepting applications for Programme Assistant in Food & Sustainability and Climate Change

Our Geneva office is now hiring a Programme Assistant for September 2015 to August 2016. This is an opportunity for a person in sympathy with Quaker approaches and with an interest in international affairs and in international organizations. You would experience a range of international work, while working primarily as an assistant to QUNO’s Representative for Food & Sustainability in her work relating to agricultural trade, intellectual property of plants and innovation by small-scale farmers. The work also includes a support role to QUNO’s Bonn-based Representative for Climate Change, maintaining strong linkages between QUNO’s work in Geneva and in Bonn, contributing to programme outreach and acting as a Geneva-based presence in meetings.

For more information, visit our PA page and download the complete job description and application form below. The deadline for applications is 30 March. 

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February 2015

QUNO particpates in Fifth Meeting of the Aarhus Task Force on Public Participation in Decision Making on Environmental Matters

Fifth Meeting of the Aarhus Task Force on Public Participation credit:Noah Berger Photography

QUNO participated in the fifth meeting of the Aarhus Convention Task Force on Public Participation in Decision-Making on Environmental Matters from 23 to 24 February 2015. Entering into force in December 2001, the Aarhus Convention provides the publics of signatory states with a number of procedural rights with respect to the environment, including the right to access information, the right of participation, and the right to justice. The Fifth Task Force gathered state and civil society representatives at the Palais de Nations with the aim of facilitating discussions about the chief challenges to effective public participation, allowing for the exchange of good practices, and proposing potential methods for the strengthening of public participation in relation to environmental matters. Acknowledging the negative impact of local capacity deficits on public participation, QUNO’s Diane Hendrick gave a presentation, highlighting the value of peacebuilding approaches in increasing environmental awareness and building capacity in order to provide stakeholders with the ability to engage in more meaningful and effective participation in environmental decision-making.

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February 2015

Launch of the White Paper on Peacebuilding

On the 27th of February 2015, QUNO, alongside its partners at the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform, launched the White Paper on Peacebuilding. Published in anticipation of the 10-year review of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture, this collaborative publication aims to account for a diverse range of perspectives in discussing the challenges, opportunities, and future of peacebuilding, as well the ways in which societies may work towards a sustainable peace, with the support of the UN and other international actors. At this event, panelists representing the GPP’s partner organizations, including QUNO’s Diane Hendrick, discussed the contents of the White Paper, underlining the importance of accounting for voices from the field as well as the need for greater emphasis on prevention in peacebuilding efforts. The White Paper and a series of detailed background papers are available below.

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January 2015

QUNO & FAO launch an online consultation on food security measures and trade

QUNO launched and moderated an online consultation on food security measures and trade, in conjunction with the FAO Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition and the FAO Trade and Markets Division.

Entitled 'Examining the Linkages between trade and food security: What is your experience?', the consultation invited contributors to share their expertise and knowledge of these issues, in an attempt to put small-scale farmers back at the centre of the debate. It asked probing questions about the efficacy of a global market-based approach to food security, and sought to find ways of reconciling food security measures with trade rules.

The discussion ran from January to February 2015. A summary of the consultation, written by QUNO Representative for Food & Sustainability Susan H. Bragdon, is available at the below link.

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January 2015

Peace and Post-2015: What's Next?

In January QUNO hosted an informal civil society strategy session on Goal 16 and the role of related peace issues in the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). After many years of inputs, from a variety of different sources and streams, the process to replace the Millennium Development Goals with the transformative SDG framework enters its final stages. 

Civil Society representatives in New York and by phone from London and Washington were joined by selected member state representatives and UN officials. The session took stock of the conversation to date, reviewed the Secretary General's December 2014 synthesis report specifically from a peace perspective and considered potential points of entry for the coming year. 

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December 2014

French, Chinese and Spanish translations of our Trade Liberalization and Food Security booklet are now available!

French, Chinese and Spanish language translations of Trade Liberalization & Food Security: Examining the Linkages by Jennifer Clapp are now available. The paper is 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.

Downloads of the booklet are available at the link below:

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December 2014

QUNO co-hosted a side event on human rights and climate change in Lima

QUNO, together with the World Council of Churches and Religions for Peace, co-hosted a side event on the human rights impacts of anthropogenic climate change on 10 December 2014, during the 20th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Lima, Peru. 

The increasing impacts of anthropogenic climate change are a grave danger to humankind and nature, severely jeopardizing human rights and life on Earth. Drawing from a joint letter by the UN Human Rights Special Procedures mandate-holders to the UNFCCC, the event aimed to galvanize debate around actions necessary to strengthen respect and promotion of human rights in climate negotiations.

Joining the panel were Hilal Elver, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food; the Rev Henrik Grape, from the Church of Sweden; John Knox, UN Independent Expert on Human Rights and the Environment; and Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The discussion was moderated by Yves Lador, of EarthJustice.

Photo: A Quechua priest gives a ceremonial sip of chicha, a fermented maize drink, to a young girl during the Global March for the Climate on Dec 10th. More than 15,000 people took part in the Climate March in Lima while the UN climate talks were taking place. Credit: Lutheran World Federation/Sean Hawkey

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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

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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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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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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October 2014

QUNO and the South Centre host discussion on trade liberalization and food security

QUNO and the South Centre, a Geneva based intergovernmental organization of developing countries, hosted a seminar with State delegates where author Jennifer Clapp presented the findings of her paper, “Trade Liberalization and Food Security: Examining the linkages.”  The paper was commissioned by QUNO, and is available here.

State delegates expressed appreciation for the opportunity to step back from the details of the World Trade Organization trade negotiations to discuss the underlying narrative that supports arguments for trade liberalization.  The meeting was well attended with a lively discussion of the paper’s conclusion that context is important in determining the most appropriate trade policies to ensure food security.

 

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