Timeline

March 2014

QUNO co-hosted lunch discussion on the topic of "Reconciliation and Inclusion" towards sustainable peace"

Quaker House was joined by two members of the Club de Madrid on 11 February for an engaging discussion with Member States and key UN actors. The Club is an international organization of former heads of state working together for democratic leadership and governance. This meeting followed a thematic debate in the Security Council on the topic of “War, its lessons, and the search for a permanent peace.” 

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March 2014

Judge quotes QUNO’s work in British Columbia Supreme Court judgement, Inglis v. British Columbia

In December, The Supreme Court in British Columbia, Canada, overturned a decision to close the mother and baby unit at Alouette Correctional Centre for Women, on the grounds that it violated the rights of both the mothers and the babies. In the judgement, Justice Ross quoted QUNO’s publication Collateral Convicts, by Oliver Robertson. In addition, one of the experts cited the Kyiv Declaration on Women’s Health in Prison, in which QUNO and other Friends were involved. 

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March 2014

QUNO co-sponsors 'Conscientious Objection to Military Service: Challenges and International Responses' Human Rights Council side event

At the 25th session of the Human Rights Council, QUNO co-sponsored a side-event entitled “Conscientious Objection to Military Service: Challenges and International Responses”, with the Permanent Missions of Costa Rica, Croatia and Poland. During this side event, which was moderated by Rachel Brett from QUNO, the panellists explored different elements of the right to conscientious objection. The Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, addressed the philosophical underpinnings of conscience and the right to conscientious objection. Sir Nigel Rodley, the Chairperson of the Human Rights Committee, discussed developments within the Committee regarding conscientious objection. The third speaker, Emily Graham from QUNO addressed the practical implications of refusing military service, including prosecution and imprisonment but also fines, lack of necessary identity documentation and discrimination.

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February 2014

QUNO makes a Statement at the 17th working Group of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention

QUNO attended the 17th Working Group of the Parties of the Aarhus Convention as part of our work on Natural Resources, Conflict and Cooperation. This is a UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention linking environmental rights and human rights, focusing on the interactions between the public and public authorities.

An important focus for QUNOs work on Natural Resources is the preconditions for effective public participation around natural resource management , as a means of preventing destructive conflict and promoting equitable and peaceful natural resource management. We see the Aarhus Convention as a valuable contribution to managing environmental matters in a constructive way.

Rhiannon Redpath delivered an oral statement introducing both the work of QUNO and highlighting the role peacebuilding approaches can play in creating the preconditions for effective public participation around natural resource management as a means of preventing destructive conflict. The statement was well received, and QUNO plans further engagement in this area.

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February 2014

QUNO held side-event panel discussion: Small-scale farmers, innovation and the competition of international regimes?

Small-scale farmer innovation plays an essential role in food security. During this panel discussion, speakers and participants considered how to design a coherent legal regime that supports all types of innovation and management systems, including those of small-scale farmers. Speakers included: Susan Bragdon, QUNO; Shakeel Bhatti, International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture; Isabel Lopez Noriega, Bioversity International; and Antony Taubman, World Trade Organization. The event was moderated by QUNO's Caroline Dommen.

The session built on QUNO’s 2013 Briefing Note, "Small-scale farmers - The missing element in the WIPO-IGC Draft Articles on Genetic Resources" and is part of ongoing QUNO work on intellectual property, genetic resources and food. 

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February 2014

Susan Bragdon joins QUNO Geneva as Representative for Food and Sustainability

Susan Bragdon joined QUNO Geneva on 1 February as Representative, Food and Sustainability to lead our work on intellectual property of plants and on a new framework for trade and investment in agriculture. Susan, trained as a resource ecologist and patent lawyer, brings in depth experience of UN agencies and other international organisations and negotiations, especially on intellectual property of plants and biodiversity. Susan, presently based in Portland, Oregon, will work initially as a consultant before relocating to Geneva later this year.

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February 2014

QUNO attends first public meeting of the Arms Trade Treaty Network

As a founding member of the Geneva Forum, QUNO attended the first public event of the new Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) Network. The ATT Network was launched in 2013 by the Geneva Forum and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy as a platform to exchange information, provide practical guidance on the implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty and develop networks among implementation actors and communities.

The event was attended by 60 participants in Geneva, and brought together NGOs, IGOs, mission delegates and UN experts to coordinate activities related to the promotion of the treaty and its implementation. During this event, Diane Hendrick moderated the concluding discussion, identifying areas for priority attention in the course of the following months.

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February 2014

QUNO participates in ACCORD Seminar on Peacebuilding Coherence in Johannesburg, South Africa

On 19 and 20 February Diane Hendrick participated in the  seminar “Towards a more Coherent Peacebuilding Policy Community”, in Johannesburg organised by the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), a Civil Society organisation based in South Africa, which specializes in the field of conflict analysis, resolution, interventions and management on the African continent.

The seminar explored the scope for coherence in the range of  international, regional and national peacebuilding related policy processes that have been initiated over the past years. It brought together more than 40 representatives of the UN, the African Union, NGO's and  academics from Africa and beyond and  allowed for some frank discussion, especially around the issue of local ownership of peacebuilding processes.  A policy and practice brief looking at the key issues from the workshop and the guiding principles developed will be produced shortly.

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January 2014

QUNO's Diane Hendrick co-moderated e-discussion on Mainstreaming Food Security into Peacebuilding Processes

Photo Credit: UN Photo by Paulo Filgueiras

Diane Hendrick of QUNO Geneva and Alexandra Trzeciak-Duval, former Head of the Policy Division in OECD’s Directorate for Development Co-operation, co-moderated an e-discussion on Mainstreaming Food Security into Peacebuilding Processes. You can read contributions to the e-discussion at http://www.fao.org/fsnforum/protracted-crises.

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January 2014

Developing country sui generis options for plant variety protection

Photo Credit: Martin Kunz

These briefing papers on sui generis options for plant variety protection (PVP) are to encourage and support governmental officials and others who wish to develop a PVP system that matches their country’s needs. These briefing papers are the third and fourth in a series on intellectual property, food and agriculture.

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January 2014

Breakfast dialogue on Peace, Poverty and Violence

In December QUNO,  the Baha’i International Community: United Nations Office, and ATD Fourth World partnered to host a breakfast dialogue on the topic of “Peace, poverty, and violence; interlinkages for sustainable development.” The breakfast was attended by a wide range of UN staff, Member States, and representatives from civil society. Keynote speakers included a representative from the Permanent Mission of Timor Leste, as well as Sarah Cliffe, special adviser and assistant secretary-general of Civilian Capacities to the United Nations. Sarah Cliffe stated that “The impact of violence and conflict on social and economic development is deep,” said Dr. Cliffe. “Many countries have seen their development held back by these factors.” A summary note and agenda from the meeting are available here.

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December 2013

Rachel Brett, QUNO Representative for Human Rights and Refugees, delivers training on the right to Conscientious Objection in Colombia

Rachel Brett, QUNO's representative for Human Rights and Refugees, delivered training to conscientious objectors at the Foro Internacional Por la Objeción de Conciencia al Servicio Militar Obligatorio in Bogotá, Colombia. This presentation focused on the international standards on the right to conscientious objection to military service and alternative service applicable to Colombia.

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December 2013

QUNO attends Mandela Memorial at historic Riverside Church

Members of the QUNO New York staff attended a memorial service at the Riverside Church on 11 December to honour the life of Nelson Mandela. While we are deeply saddened by his death, we are reminded that the work towards a more just and peaceful world is as important now as ever. With deep inequalities that persist in our own neighbourhoods, and the continued use of violent means to solve global issues, we must look within to see how in our own lives and work we can actively contribute to a more peaceful and just world.

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December 2013

UNHCR issues ‘Guidelines on International Protection No. 10: Claims to Refugee Status related to Military Service’

QUNO welcomes new Guidelines on International Protection relating to claims to refugee status based on objection to military service released by UNHCR. These Guidelines focus on individuals who seek international protection as refugees to avoid recruitment and service in State armed forces, including conscientious objectors, as well as forced recruitment by non-State armed groups. They will provide guidance for governments, decision makers, lawyers and the judiciary as well as UNHCR staff. QUNO hopes that the new Guidelines will help protect conscientious objectors and others fleeing recruitment and service in the military when they seek asylum abroad.

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December 2013

New York is hiring Programme Assistants for 2014-2015!

Our New York office is now hiring Programme Assistants for 2014-2015. These are entry-level positions for recent college graduates who are interested in international affairs and the UN, and who have a commitment to Friends (Quaker) principles of peace, non-violence, and equality.  The positions provide those individuals selected with an informal extension to their education in international issues. Additionally, PAs gain the practical experience of assisting QUNO New York staff with program and administrative tasks. Past PAs have used their experience to continue on to graduate studies and careers in international affairs and other related areas. The deadline for applications is February 7th. For more information and to apply, visit our PA page.

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December 2013

QUNO holds side event on “Business, Human Rights and Conflict” at 2013 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights

Photo Credit: Claire Rodgerson

QUNO - together with the UN Global Compact, the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, and the Constructive Engagement Group - held a side event on Business, Human Rights and Conflict at the 2013 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights. Diane Hendrick of QUNO moderated the discussion. During this event, Lynn Finnegan from QUNO spoke about the impact that business activities can have on local communities’ access to natural resources such as water, land and food. QUNO also outlined good practices for effective company-community engagement.​

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December 2013

New QUNO Meeting Space in Bonn

QUNO has established a new meeting space in Bonn, from which the new Climate Change Representative, Lindsey Fielder Cook, will work.  This new location enables QUNO staff to work closely with Bonn-based organisations focused on climate change and environmental issues.  The space is set between the woods and the UN Offices in Bonn and is heated by a variety of green energy sources.  

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December 2013

Lindsey Fielder Cook appointed new QUNO Representative on Climate Change

Following an international selection process, we are pleased to announce that Lindsey Fielder Cook has been appointed as the new QUNO Representative on Climate Change. Lindsey has a background in peacebuilding and climate change, and has worked on humanitarian and donor coordination efforts with the United Nations in the West Bank and Gaza, the Former Yugoslavia, Somalia, and on communications for the United Nations Volunteers in Bonn. Lindsey will take forward this work from the newly established QUNO meeting space in Bonn.

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November 2013

QUNO hosts a lunch discussion on "Peacebuilding in the African Great Lakes Region: A view from China"

A diverse and engaged group of UN staff, member states, and civil society members gathered at Quaker House in New York on 7 November to hear a group of leading Chinese academics share their work on Peacebuilding in the African Great Lakes Region. It was a lively conversation, with many personal anecdotes and the sharing of experiences from many different actors. Discussion included the inter-linkages between peacebuilding and peacekeeping in countries such as Burundi and DRC, and what role China might play to support efforts that build national ownership and encourage local solutions to conflict.

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November 2013

QUNO hosts agriculture and food panel at the WTO Public Forum 2013

Photo Credit: WTO

QUNO hosted a panel discussion at the WTO Public Forum 2013 on “Exploring New Frameworks for Trade and Investment in Agriculture”. Speaking on the panel were Caroline Dommen, QUNO Representative for Global Economic Issues, Hans Herren, recipient of The Right Livelihood Award 2013 and Mark Halle, from the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

During this event, panellists and members of the audience considered environmental and social impacts of the current agricultural system. This led to discussion about what considerations are necessary for decision makers to take on board, in order to ensure an agricultural system that responds to the needs of the world today.

You can listen to an audio recording of the session here.

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