Timeline

High Level Policy Engagement

QUNO engages with the broader policy debates on peacebuilding and prevention at the UN in New York. From time to time QUNO also works on topical situations such as Palestinian statehood.
May 2016

QUNO speaks at side event to UN debate on Peace and Security

In May the UN held a High-Level Thematic Debate on Peace and Security. QUNO representative Camilla Campisi participated as a panel speaker in a side event to the debate organised by the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) and International IDEA. The event focused on how enhanced cooperation with civil society and regional organisations can help the UN fulfill its purpose on peace and security.

QUNO shared findings and recommendations from the report co-authored with GPPAC last year on civil society engagement with the UN's Peacebuilding Architecture (PBA). QUNO stressed how this is a significant moment for the UN to focus on peacebuilding and the prevention of violent conflict, particularly given the recent joint Security Council and General Assembly resolutions on the PBA, and how civil society must be a part of this work. The UN's Peacebuilding Commission must improve its transparency to be more accessible and create strategic partnerships where civil society can be a part of the full process. Civil society should also contribute to conflict analyses carried out by the UN, which would provide a broader understanding of the local context and what types of peacebuilding approaches are needed. 

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May 2016

Bringing member states together around the peaceful societies' agenda

In July, the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development will take place at the UN in New York. The HLPF will be the primary UN platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted in September 2015. Twenty-two countries will undergo National Reviews during the HLPF, which will examine the processes they have undertaken to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a national level. 

In collaboration with the International Peace Institute (IPI), QUNO is working on a project to support member states involved in the upcoming HLPF, specifically in regards to the peaceful, just and inclusive societies' component of the 2030 Agenda. In adopting the SDGs, member states agreed that peace is a necessary precondition for sustainable development, with good governance, inclusive institutions and participatory decision-making of essential importance. 

QUNO and IPI brought together experts from among this group of 22 states at Quaker House, providing them with the opportunity to hear from one another and share insights and strategies on how they plan on integrating the peace components of the 2030 Agenda in their first national review. This informal, off-the-record meeting allowed for insightful updates on the process of implementing the SDGs at a national level--insights that are often absent in high-level policy discussions within the UN system. 

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March 2016

Diplomats and peacebuilders discuss emerging issues in peacebuilding

QUNO hosted an evening reception at Quaker House on emerging issues in peacebuilding and prevention. It was a unique opportunity for member state delegates and UN colleagues to meet with senior representatives of global peacebuilding policy organisations. In attendance were diplomats representing the new chair and vice-chairs of the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), Kenya, the Republic of Korea, and Sweden. The reception provided space for lively informal conversations on priorities of concern for the peacebuilding community, and allowed for new relationships to develop. 

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February 2016

QUNO co-hosts violent extremism report launch

In the midst of UN discussions on the Secretary-General's recent Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism (PVE), QUNO co-hosted the launch of three reports by Saferworld on counter-terrorism, stabilisation and statebuilding in Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen. A packed room of Member States, UN officials, think tanks and NGOs engaged with multiple panels of speakers, including experts on PVE and the regions concerned, as well as UN representatives. 

The reports highlight the failures of counter-terrorism, stabilisation and statebuilding to promote peace and stop violent militancy from spreading across the Middle East and North Africa. Participants debated lessons from past international engagement with terror and instability, and considered future approaches that would rely less on security-based counter-terrorism strategies. The roundtable came at an opportune time, when the UN is seeking to revitalise the international community's promotion of peace and stability in the face of contemporary security threats.

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December 2015

QUNO remarks in Washington on the universal application of the peaceful, just and inclusive societies approach within the SDGs

QUNO New York Director, Andrew Tomlinson, was invited to speak at a meeting of the Washington-based Conflict Prevention and Resolution Forum on 'The Future of Goal 16: Peace and Inclusion in the Sustainable Development Goals', along with Lynn Wagner of IISD and Cynthia Clapp-Wincek, a consultant and policy expert with the US government, in a session chaired by Liz Hume of the Alliance for Peacebuilding. Andrew's remarks focused on the universal application of the peaceful, just and inclusive societies agenda within the SDGs. The lively discussion included comments on the applicability of this approach to the US.

The session is webcast here.
 

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November 2015

QUNO blog post ahead of landmark Security Council meeting on conflict prevention

Ahead of a UN Security Council open debate on Peace, Development, and the Root Causes of Conflict this week, QUNO New York director Andrew Tomlinson teamed up with Saferworld in a blog post highlighting peacebuilding perspectives. The debate addressed the connection between the Council's mandate to maintain international peace and security, the 2030 Agenda and the related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Member States discussed the values and drawbacks of taking a preventative and developmental approach to conflict at the Security Council, and the role of the SDGs, particularly goal 16 on peaceful, just and inclusive societies, within a Security Council setting. 

The blog post - "The UN Security Council and the prevention of conflict: where does the 2030 Agenda fit in?" - highlights the importance of addressing the systemic and structural drivers of conflict for effective conflict prevention, as well as the necessity for the Council to engage more effectively with prevention moving forward. 

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November 2015

QUNO as panelist at Social Inclusion Public Consultation

QUNO New York Director, Andrew Tomlinson, was invited to speak as a panelist in the public consultation on Social Inclusion hosted by the Independent Commission on Multilateralism at the International Peace Institute, together with Dr. Ilze Brands Kehris, and Omar El Okdah. His comments focused on the core nature of the issues of social inclusion, political participation and effective governance and their role in conflict prevention, the nature of inclusive national ownership in practice, and the need for the multilateral system to model inclusion in its own practices.

The web link includes a video recording of the proceedings.

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October 2015

In & Around the UN

Take a look at what's going on in our New York office: QUNO's quarterly Newsletter highlights our work on the new Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda; the first Arria-Formula meeting focusing on the issue of Palestine since 1997; a workshop in Beijing entitled "Emerging Views on Global Peace Practice;" our Review of the UN Peacebuilding architecture; and new staff in New York.

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October 2015

QUNO speaks on inclusion to UN Peacebuilding Commission

QUNO New York Director Andrew Tomlinson shared perspectives from civil society as a panel presenter at a meeting of the UN Peacebuilding Commission's Working Group on Lessons Learned, chaired by the Japanese Mission to the UN. The meeting focused on the development of political institutions in conflict affected states. Andrew spoke about the fundamental importance of civil society inclusion to effective political institutions. He gave examples of how civil society has, in practice, contributed to the formation and functioning of political institutions and shared five recommendations for the UN Peacebuilding Commission in supporting inclusive political processes.

 

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October 2015

QUNO and NGO Partners Publish Booklet on Gaza Arria-Formula Meeting

The Israel-Palestine NGO Working Group, of which QUNO New York is a member, has published a booklet on the UN Security Council Arria-formula meeting on Gaza, which took place in July. The booklet features the presentations made by the four expert speakers at the meeting, which was co-hosted by the Permanent Missions of Malaysia and Jordan to the UN. The speakers were Mr. Vance Culbert from the Norwegian Refugee Council, Mr. Ardi Imseis of Cambridge University, Ms. Tania Hary from Gisha, and Dr. Sara Roy from the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University.

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September 2015

Statement by Peacebuilding Organisations on the International Day of Peace

In honour of the International Day of Peace, QUNO and peacebuilding organisations from around the world have issued a shared statement to UN Member States 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 prioritising local needs.

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August 2015

Peace and Post-2015: What Now?

In August QUNO New York hosted an informal civil society strategy session at Quaker House to discuss the next steps for peace issues within the soon-to be adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Primarily focusing on Goal 16 - Promoting Peaceful and Inclusive Societies - civil society representatives, as well as selected member state representatives and UN officials, discussed an array of next steps concerning the implementation, measurement, and communication of the agenda. 

The session additionally addressed the importance of forming partnerships across the wider peace community and explored possible linkages with other major processes at the UN, including the Peacebuilding Architecture review, the Peace Operations review, the World Humanitarian Summit, and the UN Plan of Action on Preventing Violent Extremism. 

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July 2015

QUNO co-hosts discussion on the transition from conflict to development

QUNO New York, together with Club de Madrid, as part of their Shared Societies project, co-hosted an informal conversation at Quaker House with Mr. Abdurrahim El Keib, former Prime Minister of Libya and Mr. Zlatko Lagumdzija, former Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The meeting focused on the importance of connecting high-level policy discussions to the realities of countries in transition, and that well-thought out mechanisms to support political inclusion are vital components to consolidating development and progress in a post-conflict context.

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July 2015

QUNO co-organizes Beijing workshop on UN Peace Practices

QUNO New York, together with the United Nations Association of China (UNA-China), the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), and the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum (CPPF) jointly held a workshop entitled “Emerging Views on Global Peace Practice: New Directions in UN Peace Operations at the Occasion of the 70th Anniversary” in Beijing. The workshop brought together Chinese academics, civil society practitioners, and experts from Africa, Europe, and the United Nations to discuss current UN peace strategies and practices. The participants actively engaged in discussions over the current reviews of the UN's Peacebuilding Architecture and Peace Operations, shared various country-focused experiences, and held an inspiring dialogue on gender perspectives in peace endeavours. More broadly, the workshop provided an opportunity for exchanging perspectives and promoting better understanding among Chinese, Western, African, and UN-based experts on UN peace operations and peacebuilding practices.

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July 2015

QUNO interviewed for ACUNS podcast on peace and post-2015

QUNO New York Director Andrew Tomlinson was interviewed by the Academic Council on the UN System (ACUNS) for their "Current Issues" podcast series, where he discussed his recent article, Peace and Post-2015: Into the Home Stretch, which is focused on Sustainable Development Goal 16: “Promote peaceful and inclusive institutions at all levels.”

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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 a Beijing event 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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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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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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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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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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