Timeline

January 2016

Interview: QUNO and Joseph Rowntree Foundation reflect on COP21

With the dust settling on December's climate negotiations in Paris, QUNO's Lindsey Fielder Cook and Katherine Knox from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation were invited by journalism platform the IPF to share their reflections on the conference.

In the interview, they discuss the climate change work that QUNO and JRF have been undertaking and some of the implications of the outcome document, as well as sharing their experiences of the tense, dramatic and ultimately successful two weeks.

Link to article: http://the-ipf.com/2015/12/27/reflecting-cop21-environment-experts-clima...

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January 2016

QUNO co-hosted briefing on new UN rules on treatment of prisoners

QUNO Geneva co-hosted a briefing on the new revised UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (known as the "Nelson Mandela Rules"), the key set of international standards on detention conditions and the treatment of prisoners.

The event, organized in conjunction with Penal Reform International (PRI), the Permanent Mission of Switzerland and the Permanent Mission of Uruguay took place on Thursday 4 February.

An expert panel, moderated by Laurel Townhead, Representative for Human Rights and Refugees, addressed issues around the process of revising the original rules and discuss ideas for the implementation of the new updated rules.

The event was broadcast live online and is available for viewing here.

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January 2016

QUNO contributes chapter to new Elsevier publication on Land Degradation

Working as a consultant for QUNO Geneva, Lynn Finnegan, with assistance from Diane Hendrick, has authored a chapter entitled “All Voices Heard: A Conflict Prevention Approach to Land and Natural Resources” in the newly-published book Land Restoration: Reclaiming Landscapes for a Sustainable Future, edited by Ilan Chabay, Martin Frick and Jennifer Helgeson.

This chapter demonstrates the ways in which the unsustainable, exclusive, and top-down management of land can serve to exacerbate underlying tensions and inequalities already present in the structures of a society and thereby lead to destructive conflict. The chapter goes on to provide illustrations of instances in which it was possible to prevent destructive conflict and build peace, by ensuring that land management and policy accounted for the needs and aspirations of all concerned groups and people.  

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December 2015

Policy Brief: The relationship between food security policy measures and WTO trade rules

This report first provides a historical overview of both the concept of food security and the incorporation of agriculture into international trade negotiations. It then turns to the relationship between food security policy options and the WTO’s trade rules, and highlights opportunities for governments to implement policies that support food security while meeting their international obligations. It concludes by laying out a range of policy measures to enhance food security, assessing the compatibility of each with WTO regulations. 

Prepared by David Elliott, based on a full-length report by Kim Burnett, available below. 

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December 2015

Policy Brief: Small-scale farmer innovation

This policy brief consolidates lessons learned from two sources:

The key message arising from both is that small-scale farmer innovation systems are unique relative to more ‘formal’ agricultural innovation systems. For this reason, the types of policies that are put in place to encourage innovation in agriculture require a fundamental reconsideration.

Read the brief in English, French, Spanish and Chinese, by clicking the links below.

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December 2015

Project Brief: QUNO interactive policy tool

Within our Trade and Investment in Agriculture work, QUNO has been developing an online tool to help explain the complex relationship between food security measures and the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) trade rules. These are liable to come into conflict and the aim of the tool is to help policy makers shape their policies in ways that are mutually compatible and context-appropriate.

In this project brief, Susan Bragdon, our Food & Sustainability Representative, talks through her vision of the tool and how she believes it could benefit small-scale farmer organisations, trade negotiators and policymakers in shaping effective food security measures.

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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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December 2015

Read QUNO's latest Geneva Reporter newsletter

QUNO's Geneva Reporter newsletter is now available. The latest issue features: an update from our Human Rights & Refugees programme about the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, which were recently revised and renamed in honor of Nelson Mandela; details about a recent Conflict Sensitivity in Business programme hosted at Quaker House Geneva; and a project brief on QUNO's new interactive trade policy tool.

This issue also includes a QUNO Q&A with Rachel Evans, a new regular feature in which we catch up with QUNO Geneva alumni and past summer school participants. The full publication is available below.

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November 2015

New Report: Small-scale farmer innovation systems - a review of the literature

Small-scale farmer innovation systems have remained an abstract and elusive concept - this document seeks clarification by presenting a review of the academic literature on the subject.

In it, we call for further evidence-based research documenting small-scale farmers' contributions to food security, livelihood improvement and agro-ecosystem resilience. Through this, we hope small-scale farmers may become more visible in policymaking and more supported within national innovation strategies.

Read the full report below:

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November 2015

New Report: The relationship between key food security measures and trade rules

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 new QUNO report, prepared by Kim Burnett (University of Waterloo), 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.

 

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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

Geneva Peace Week

QUNO, as one of the four partners of the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform (together with Interpeace, the Centre for Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding of the Graduate Institute, and the Geneva Centre on Security Policy), supported Geneva Peace Week 2015, which in its second year, served as the umbrella for 41 events organized by 50 institutions. The Main Programme was developed collaboratively between the UN Office in Geneva, the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform (GPP), organizations based in the Maison de la Paix, and the University of Geneva. The Side Events Programme included a diverse set events organized by Permanent Missions, International Organizations, and non-governmental organizations in consultative status with ECOSOC. Geneva Peace Week encouraged event partnerships across institutions and sectors and was also enriched by the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights and UNCTAD Global Entrepreneurship Week, both of which were taking place during the same period.

For more information on 2015's Peace Week programme, please click on the following link: http://www.gpplatform.ch/geneva-peace-week-16-20-november-2015

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November 2015

QUNO highlights conflict sensitivity in business during Geneva Peace Week

QUNO and AFSC, with the support of the Peace Nexus Foundation, organised an event at the Palais des Nations on “Conflict Sensitivity in Business: Experiences from China and Southeast Asia” as part of Geneva Peace Week 2015. The event provided a platform for a senior Chinese business representative, as well as Cambodian and international NGO representatives, to speak about their efforts to work together to mitigate conflict around investments in Southeast Asia. The event was moderated by Jason Tower, East Asian International Affairs Representative for AFSC in Beijing. 

For more information on this event, please see the flyer attached below.

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November 2015

Bringing constructive examples to the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights

QUNO, together with the Centre for Peacebuilding (swisspeace) and the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR), held a side event at the 4th UN Forum on Business and Human rights, on 16 November 2015. This event focused on the “Human Rights Implications of Large-Scale Land Investments and Constructive Responses”. Former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier de Schutter, spoke on preliminary findings and initial reflections of a draft report produced for ICAR, Global Witness and Oxfam on Land, corruption and human rights. QUNO arranged for Sin Sokhomony from the NGO Forum on Cambodia to speak on the experience of engaging with Chinese investors around land issues, drawing on project experience with the American Friends Service committee (AFSC).

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November 2015

QUNO hosts discussion on youth and peacebuilding

QUNO, on behalf of the New York Peacebuilding Group, hosted a meeting with members of the United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY) to discuss the role of young people in building and sustaining peace. The speakers explained the importance of the recent Amman Youth Declaration on Youth, Peace and Security, and focused on how young people need to be involved as agents of positive change in all stages of peacebuilding.

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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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November 2015

QUNO co-hosts event on minority issues and criminal justice

QUNO Geneva co-hosted an expert panel meeting alongside the 8th session of the Forum on Minority Issues, on Wednesday 25 November. 

Marking the International Day on the Elimination of Violence against Women, the panel addressed issues of discrimination and violence faced by women from minority groups in criminal justice systems. 

The event was organised in conjunction with the Permanent Mission of Canada, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Penal Reform International (PRI).

Further information about the event and speakers can be found on the flyer available below.

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November 2015

"Making Peace in Their Own Words": Myanmar's Peace Process

QUNO hosted a book launch and discussion at Quaker House in New York on "Making Peace in Their Own Words: People of Myanmar's Peace Process," a publication recently issued by the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies. Member States, UN personnel and NGOs came together to discuss the challenges and successes of the peace process, which is nationally-led and has taken place between the government and ethnic armed groups. 

The book tells the story of men and women who, together, moved Myanmar's current peace process forward. While opposing each other for a long time, they have transformed themselves and those around them through the experience of sitting at the negotiation table. The testimonies highlighted in the book provide a window into personal experiences, and acknowledge the difficulty of transition periods. 

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October 2015

Small-scale Farmer Innovation Systems: Report on the First Expert Consultation 26-27 May 2015 in Geneva

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:

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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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